January 30, 2023

Honda just issued a stunning rebuke of Trump’s gutting of EPA fuel efficiency standards

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When the students tell the teacher that the homework and the tests are too easy, you know something’s seriously wrong.


That’s exactly what Honda Motor Company told the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about the new lax emissions and fuel standards reports suggest are coming soon.

“The Trump administration is expected to launch an effort in coming days to weaken greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy standards for automobiles,” The New York Times reported earlier this week.  The move effectively hands “a victory to car manufacturers” and gives them “ammunition to potentially roll back industry standards worldwide,” Coral Davenport and Hiroko Tabuchi write.

Back in 2012, President Obama’s EPA set a fuel economy target for all commercial automakers, mandating their fleet averages reach 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

President Trump’s EPA, however, wants that target revisited, even though there are provisions built into the mandates that allow automakers some wiggle room on the road to 2025.

According to Forbes, the 2012 provisions were “flexible,” citing language that “took into account the mix of vehicles a manufacturer sells.”

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“For example,” Forbes contributor writer Greg Gardner adds, “companies such as General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler that sell many pickup trucks would have a more lenient fleet average than companies that sell a higher proportion of subcompact and midsize cars.”

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That’s not enough for President Trump, who seems hell-bent on reversing any law or policy with Barack Obama’s name on it.

Automakers, however are not rejoicing.  A Honda executive told The Times that the expected scuttling of Obama-era standards does not represent the wishes of the auto industry.

“We didn’t ask for that,” Robert Bienenfeld, an assistant vice president at American Honda Motor, said to The Times “The position we outlined was sensible.” 

In their defense, however, few people have ever accused President Trump or members of his administration of being “sensible.”

Peter Mellado

Peter Mellado is a writer, producer, and a branding and messaging specialist with over 15 years experience. He studied history at San Jose State University, and resides in Los Angeles.

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