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04 April 2018, 01:18 | Damon Campbell
This Fox News interview was surprisingly tough on Scott Pruitt
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt waves to members of the audience as he arrives for a news conference at the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, Tuesday, April 3, 2018, on his decision to scrap Obama administration fuel standards.
Pruitt's "corruption scandals are an embarrassment to the Administration, and his conduct is grossly disrespectful to American taxpayers".
EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox insisted in a statement on Monday that "Administrator Pruitt is focused on advancing President Trump's agenda of regulatory certainty and environmental stewardship"-stewardship that apparently entails gutting regulations aimed at protecting the nation's water and rolling back anti-smog fuel efficiency standards".
From Reuters: "The standards called for roughly doubling by 2025 the average fuel efficiency of new vehicles sold in the United States to about 50 miles (80 km) per gallon". Through a CAA waiver granted by EPA, California can impose stricter standards for vehicle emissions of certain pollutants than federal requirements. And 12 other states, including New York, Pennsylvania and MA, follow California's lead on cleaner cars, meaning that for practical purposes that's the standard automakers have to follow.
Pruitt is a conservative and a big proponent of states' rights to regulate themselves - but opposes California's push for greener cars.
The agency said in its decision that the regulation set under the Obama administration "presents challenges for auto manufacturers due to feasibility and practicability, raises potential concerns related to automobile safety, and results in significant additional costs on consumers, especially low-income consumers". But Pruitt, making the announcement in Chantilly, Va., with his comments capped on either end by automotive executives, said exactly what those changes are have yet to be determined.
"They need to be updated and evaluated, and the standards need to be revised accordingly", he said.
The transportation sector is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases. "It would 'take America backward by jeopardizing successful safeguards that are working to clean our air, save drivers money at the pump, and drive technological innovation that creates jobs, ' said Luke Tonachel, a clean vehicles advocate at the Natural Resources Defense Council".
Pruitt added, we should be focused on making cars more efficient instead of concentrating on regulations - a move which is being welcomed by USA auto manufacturers. Maybe a little. But they were a recognition at least of the scope of the problem that climate change presents.
He wanted to raise the salary for Greenwalt, his general counsel in Oklahoma and his senior counsel at the EPA, from $107,435 to $164,200. But it's not. It's another piece of a head-in-sand response to the climate crisis, the spineless deference to industry avarice that could well make the planet uninhabitable.
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