Carper Statement on the Trump Administration’s Confirmation that Negotiations With California on Auto Emissions Standards Have Ended

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), released the following statement in reaction to confirmation by the Trump Administration that negotiations have ended between the administration and the State of California over the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) and Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) proposal to roll back Obama-era fuel economy and greenhouse gas tailpipe emissions standards. The proposal weakens standards beyond the request of any automaker and preempts the historic authority of California to set and enforce its own greenhouse gas tailpipe standards as well as that of the 13 additional states, including Delaware, that have adopted them.

“Repeatedly, I have urged this administration to strike a deal with the State of California and seize the win-win opportunity to keep the American auto industry globally competitive and create more good paying jobs here at home while protecting our environment. Repeatedly, this administration has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

“This administration’s negotiations with the State of California over fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards have been superficial and scant at best, or duplicitous and designed to fail at worst. While I am deeply disappointed by today’s confirmation by the administration that these negotiations are over, it’s difficult for me to understand how that is the case if discussions never seriously began in the first place.

“Litigation is not the best option here. It wastes time, money, creates uncertainty for American automakers and harms the environment. I encourage automakers to speak out quickly, loudly and clearly against this decision, since each and every automaker previously urged the administration not to proceed with this misguided, legally questionable and irresponsible path.  

“Undoubtedly, the timing of this news may be damaging for the nomination of Mr. Wheeler. After Mr. Wheeler’s emphatic insistence at his confirmation hearing that ‘nobody wants a 50-state deal more than I do,’ the end of these talks send a clear message that, sadly, Mr. Wheeler has been unable to keep his word.”