The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may soon announce a new plan to rollback automobile fuel economy and emissions standards.
According to a new report by the New York Times, the plan not only sets the precedent for an increase in carbon emissions in the United States, but could create a chain reaction of undoing emission and fuel policies worldwide.
The plan also directly conflicts with an allowance in California that lets the state make their own decisions about fuel and emissions, with several states typically following suit including New York.
California can require automakers to adhere to stricter standards and with the new EPA decision, there is a chance the state could end up fighting in court for the right to continue the practice.
“We’re going to defend first and foremost existing federal greenhouse gas standards,” Xavier Becerra, the Attorney General of California, told the New York Times. “We’re defending them because they’re good for the entire nation. No one should think it’s easy to undo something that’s been not just good for the country, but good for the planet.”
The new EPA plan directly contradicts policies put in place by the Obama Administration.
Dubbed Obama’s “climate change legacy,” the previous Administration’s efforts included a plan to reduce tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions that would have drastically cut down on CO2 pollution and fuel consumption.
The shift would have pushed the automotive industry towards making fuel-efficient cars, but after Trump’s inauguration, auto company executives argued that the new standards were unreasonable.
Now, with the help of Scott Pruitt, now head of the EPA, the new plan will create fewer restrictions in the hopes of making cars more affordable.
However, in doing so, carbon emissions and fuel consumption will increase and put the United States further behind in the battle against climate change.