Mary Barra Met With EPA Officials to Talk About Efficiency Standards

Just weeks ahead of the Trump administration’s announcement on whether or not to revise fuel efficiency standards, GM’s CEO has met with officials at the Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department.

According to GM spokesperson Pat Morissey, who spoke to Reuters, Barra “reconfirmed our priorities for modernizing fuel economy standards, which is the need for one national set of requirements and the need to comprehend new technology developments like increased shared and autonomous electric vehicles.”

GM’s intention have been read as a call to bring California in line with the rest of the country. So far, though, the state has resisted weakening its standards, saying that it is willing to talk modification, if warranted, but “absent any such evidence, we will certainly resist changes,” according to Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board.

The talks come as a result of the Trump administration’s promise to reconsider Obama era efficiency standards that aimed to increase average fleet-wide fuel efficiency to 50 mpg.

The erstwhile administration argued that the effort would cost automakers $200 billion over 13 years to implement, but would save drivers $1.7 trillion.

The current administration meanwhile, has stated that it wants to end the so-called “assault on the American auto industry” and has expressed a desire to lower the mpg requirements.

NHTSA’s acting head, meanwhile Heidi King, told Bloomberg at the Detroit Auto Show that new proposed rules would be coming on March 30, though others have put the date in May or June.

The automotive industry’s main priority will likely be to make the rules as pleasing to states as possible to avoid a drawn out legal battle between the federal government and state attorneys general. New York’s attorney general along with 12 other top state law officials have pledged to mount a court challenge to any effort to rolling back the Obama era rules.

[source: Reuters]

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