Carper: Trump Administration, Automakers Should Follow 24 States’ Lead on Vehicle Fuel Economy, Greenhouse Gas Standards

Carper urges automakers to clearly reject Trump rollback

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, praised 24 states for their commitment to strong vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards and urged automakers to reject the Trump Administration’s reckless proposal and instead work directly with California on developing a more certain path forward.  

The Trump Administration’s proposed rollback would weaken vehicle greenhouse gas emissions standards beyond the request of any automaker and preempt the historic authority of California to set and enforce its own standards as well as that of the 13 additional states, including Delaware, that have adopted them. 

“For more than two years now, I have been urging the Trump Administration to work with the State of California to strike a deal on fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards. But since the Trump Administration seems determined to put all environmental progress into reverse, automakers should make clear that they will not support this rollback by working directly with California and these 23 states to drive automobile technology into the future,” Senator Carper said.

Ranking Member Carper has long urged the Trump Administration to negotiate a 50-state deal with California and set a nationwide standard that cleans up our air, fights climate change and helps American automakers lead in producing the fuel efficient cars of the future:

  • Senator Carper has met repeatedly with Trump Administration officials and urged them to seek common ground with all stakeholders.
  • In May 2019, Senator Carper and House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) wrote a letter to Administrator Wheeler demanding documents explaining numerous comments from Administrator Wheeler about EPA’s fuel economy rollback that plainly contradict data presented to him by EPA’s own experts.
  • In December 2018, Senators Carper and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) demanded disclosure of the administration’s contacts with the oil industry regarding the fuel economy rule, after reporting revealed details of a covert lobbying campaign driven by fossil fuel groups to weaken fuel economy rules and increase demand for oil consumption.
  • In an October 2018 letter, Senator Carper urged Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to abandon plans to dismantle the clean car standards, highlighting a non-exhaustive list of 10 major legal deficiencies in the administration’s proposal.
  • Senator Carper led an October 2018 letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and then-Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler with Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)  and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) releasing documents proving that Congress rejected legislative efforts to preempt or limit California’s authority in 2007.
  • In an August 2018 hearing, Senator Carper questioned then-Acting Administrator Wheeler about the proposed clean car rollback’s flaws.
  • After EPA and DOT released their proposal to dismantle the clean car rules in August 2018, Senator Carper blasted the plan, saying that if finalized it would create additional uncertainty for American automakers and represent a step back in the fight against climate change.
  • After Senator Carper’s office obtained a leaked copy of the draft clean car rollback, the ranking member in May 2018 sent a letter to then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and DOT Secretary Elaine Chao expressing alarm at a plan that would weaken standards and preempt states’ authority.