The Transportation Department and the EPA are scheduled to unveil final rules Tuesday that set vehicle mileage and carbon emissions requirements through model year 2026 — but the battle over these regulations is not over.
Why it matters: Transportation overtook electric power as the largest source of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions a few years ago, but the new rules are slated to be far weaker than the Obama-era requirements they're replacing.
The big picture, via AP:
- "The Trump administration says the looser mileage standards will allow consumers to keep buying the less fuel-efficient SUVs that U.S. drivers have favored for years."
- "Opponents say it will kill several hundred more Americans a year through dirtier air, compared to the Obama standards."
The intrigue: Today's unveiling is just the end of one phase in the fight over vehicle standards, and there's lots of uncertainty ahead.
- The rules will be the subject of a lengthy court battle as environmentalists and California officials push back.
- If Joe Biden wins in November's presidential election, his administration would seek to impose tougher requirements.
- The industry is split, with four automakers — Ford, VW, Honda and BMW — reaching a preliminary deal with California last year to meet tougher standards than the White House is contemplating.