While the Trump administration continues gearing itself up to loosen fuel standards for automakers, much to the chagrin of environmentalists and other countries, the agencies that set those benchmarks want to pick your brain a little before making a final decision. You’ve got an opportunity to be part of the process — the painfully boring, yet incredibly important, process.
On Thursday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation opened a public comment period on the reconsideration of the standards for greenhouse gas emissions for light vehicles built for the 2022-2025 model years. Additionally, the EPA wants comments on the appropriateness of the existing 2021 standards. The agencies are inviting the public to submit any relevant (i.e. factual) data and information that can inform a final decision of the standards.
“We are moving forward with an open and robust review of emissions standards, consistent with the timeframe provided in our regulations,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “We encourage the public to submit the best-available and most up-to-date information, so that we can get back on track with what the regulation actually requires of the Agency. Finally, we are working with DOT to ensure that our standards are ultimately aligned.”
While it is going to be difficult to resist the urge to use this as an invitation to complain generally, the agencies are specifically looking for the following: consumer behavior, feedback on modeling approaches, and assessing advanced fuel technologies.
Against the rollback on mpg standards? Explain how a spike in fuel prices might negatively impact an economy with inefficient vehicles. Claim it might make domestic vehicles less competitive or the cost to automakers won’t be as big as they claim. Back it up with facts.
All in favor of the rollback? Explain how less regulation would be a financial boon to automakers and that general consumer trends are leaning toward larger, less-efficient, models anyway. Back it up with facts.
I’m going to make it as easy as possible for you, because the initial bureaucratic nonsense you have to endure just to express you opinion on the matter is fairly potent. A comprehensive rundown on how to submit a formal comment and any accompanying media is available on the EPA’s website, while regulations.gov allows you to submit a digital response instantaneously on any of the current issues open for comment.
Just remember that, regardless of how you submit your comments, you must include the applicable docket number identified in the heading in your statement or you might have well not have sent one. The public comment period is open for 45 days. Meanwhile, the EPA review is due by April 1st, and could alter the 50.8 mpg corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) goals enacted in the last days of the Obama administration.