EPA resists automaker pressure to water down 2025 emissions regs

The agency is scrambling to cement the tighter regulations under the Obama Administration before Trump arrives in office.

The Environmental Protection Agency is resisting automaker pressure to water down mandatory long-term emissions targets.

The agency has more than a year to finalize a decision on its emissions guidelines through 2025. Tentatively, the rules are set to require fleet-wide average fuel efficiency of more than 50 miles per gallon.

Automakers may have tipped their hand too soon, speaking out to President-elect Donald Trump in hopes that the incoming administration will be more willing to back down from the stringent regulations. The industry has argued that the targets will require excessive investment and will be particularly difficult to achieve as buyers migrate from cars to crossovers and SUVs.

"It's clear from the extensive technical record that this program will remain affordable and effective," EPA administrator Gina McCarthy said in a statement. "This proposed decision reconfirms our confidence in the auto industry's capacity to drive innovation and strengthen the American economy while saving drivers money at the pump and safeguarding our health, climate and environment."

The EPA appears to be scrambling to cement the tighter regulations under the Obama Administration's leadership, ending the necessary public comment period on December 30. The current administrator will then be allowed to make a final determination for the 2025 standards, before the Trump administration arrives in the White House.

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