Agreeing with Scott Pruitt: Obama Fuel Standards Too High

The Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency announced that he plans to revoke car fuel standards adopted under Obama because they are “too high”.

These standards would have required cars to average more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025.

I just tried to convert that standard to grams of CO2 per kilometer, the unit the EU is using.

According to the EPIC Energy blog, one gallon of gasoline releases 8,650 grams of CO2. 50 miles is the equivalent of around 8o kilometers. Dividing 8,650 by 80 results in 108.125 grams per kilometer.

In contrast, the relevant EU rules require an average of 95 grams per kilometer. That requirement is valid from 2021 on, not from 2025.

So Scott Pruitt is completely right. The US car fuel standards are too high. They need to be lowered by at least another 10 percent to be around the same of the EU standards.

On the other hand, I may have misunderstood. He may want to have American cars waste even more fuel and emit even more CO2. That’s not exactly what you’d expect normally from the head of the “Environmental Protection Agency”, but it’s exactly what you’d expect from such a person in the Trump government.

If he succeeds in his wish of destroying these fuel standards, car makers will be free to sell wasteful cars. But obviously consumers will be under no obligation to buy this kind of inferior technology. They should just abandon gasoline cars completely in reaction to this move.

Gasoline is already more expensive than driving an electric car. So if car makers insist on selling inefficient gasoline cars, that will, all things equal, accelerate the transition to electric vehicles. That in turn will help reduce American CO2 emissions.

If so, this action by Pruitt may help the climate. I’m not sure if that would be his intention, but it sure would be what his intention should be as the head of the EPA.