U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) made the following statement praising President Trump and his administration for proposing new emissions and fuel economy standards for 2021-2026:
“The current CAFE standards are forcing the auto industry to produce cars that consumers don’t want, increasing the price of vehicles that they do want. The Obama administration drove up the prices of trucks and SUVs by allowing California to set the auto standards for the whole country—ignoring the needs and interests of people in other states like Oklahoma who don’t want electric vehicles. By revising the standard to consider what is best for all Americans and what is technologically feasible, we can truly advance the production of safe, reliable vehicles that are also affordable.”
Inhofe further praised the administration’s actions in a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency today, writing in part:
“The NPRM is a meaningful step towards reducing the complexity of the existing CAFE program while providing the opportunity for consumers and stakeholders to have a voice in the policy and rulemaking process. Oklahoma families should not face prohibitively high costs when purchasing a vehicle because of federal bureaucrats in Washington, D.C… A robust marketplace of affordable, new vehicles is the best way to incentivize consumers to purchase newer, cleaner and safer vehicles…
“Further, I applaud your bold action to eliminate California’s waiver under the Clean Air Act that, for too long, has allowed it to dictate federal vehicle regulations. Environmentalists in California do not want Oklahomans to purchase trucks or SUVs; they seek to mandate that the entire nation have zero emission vehicles, no matter the cost. … Your leadership on this front will help drive more affordability and consumer choice in the automobile industry. This will, in turn, spur economic growth and job creation…
“As you continue in the process of improving these two regulatory programs, I encourage you to strongly advocate for the standard to be technologically feasible, economically beneficial and fiercely protective of consumer freedom and affordability.”
Inhofe also discussed the emission standards with Acting EPA Administrator Wheeler yesterday during an EPW Committee hearing.
Inhofe: Now, President Trump and you have committed to returning EPA to cooperative federalism, which I applaud. Unfortunately, some have confused that principle with “coercive federalism,” where one state dictates their standard to all others. When it comes to the auto industry—and we talked about this just a minute ago—the last administration handed over car emission standards to California, but other states didn’t get to weigh in. Because of this, Oklahomans are paying more for their SUVs and trucks to subsidize electric cars so California drivers can afford them, which I find personally a little offensive. I applaud the EPA and NHTSA for revisiting the midterm review, done at the last minute by the Obama Administration.
Now, EPA doesn’t have any statutory direction for its auto regulations, but NHTSA does. Do you think EPA & NHTSA should harmonize their regulations so technological feasibility and consumer cost are considered?
Wheeler: Yes, Senator, I do and that's what we've done.