CARS.COM — In one of its last major actions before President Barack Obama leaves office, the EPA finalized the government’s current vehicle-emissions standards, which run through the 2025 model year.
Related: EPA Moves to Uphold High Fuel Economy Standards
The agency had until April 1, 2018, to cement a ruling on the last portion of the standards, which affect the 2022-25 model years. But it said in late November 2016 that it would recommend no changes to the planned greenhouse-gas and corporate average fuel economy program, which will require 36 mpg in average new-car window-sticker mileage by the 2025 model year. That’s up about 10 mpg over today’s average, the EPA says.
The November announcement drew praise from environmental and consumer groups but sharp criticism from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a group that represents 11 automakers — mostly for a perceived rush to finalize the program before President-elect Donald Trump takes office. Today’s announcement cements the ruling, though it’s unclear how much legal authority the Trump administration has to roll it back or simply not enforce it.
Any change under Trump “is more likely to be a delay than less strict emissions regulations,” IHS Automotive analyst Stephanie Brinley told us in November. “A delay may enable automakers to adjust the pace of development, but at the end of the day, more strict regulations are still likely to come eventually. Not to mention that there is no guarantee that whatever administration that follows Trump — whether in four or eight years — may take a different stance.”