Automakers Concerned About Possible Delay of EPA Tailpipe Regulations

If increasingly strict emissions regulations are here to stay, automakers would at least prefer them to be standardized. That might not happen if the EPA doesn’t approve tailpipe regulations for the 2012 model year in just two weeks.

The nightmare of different regulations in different states could become reality if the EPA doesn’t approve regulations by the April 1 deadline. Ten automakers came together today to plead with Congress not to get in the way of the EPA’s first-ever attempt at tailpipe emissions laws, according to The Detroit News.

Making vehicles that meet the modified emissions standards of 13 states like California and another set of cars for other states has proved to be a pain. The problem was thought to be alleviated last year when an agreement was made that these states would begin falling in line with national standards if they were set for the 2012 model year.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is trying to overturn the EPA’s conclusion that greenhouse gas emissions endanger the public’s health. Blocking the EPA’s new rules would lead to a “compliance nightmare across the country,” says Dave McCurdy, head of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. The United Auto Workers union is also in favor of letting the EPA set its own limits.

Today, Sen. Murkowski released a statement responding to the Auto Alliance’s concerns. “The notion that auto efficiency can only be improved with EPA’s involvement is false,” reads the statement, which can be found here. “Statutory authority to improve fuel economy has existed for 35 years at the Transportation Department, and it still exists today.”

Expect updates on this issue before the month is through.

Source: Detroit News, Sen. Lisa Murkowski