In 2016, former President Barack Obama passed new regulations that would hold automakers accountable for failing to meet fuel efficiency requirements. In 2015, Congress ordered federal agencies to adjust civil penalties to account for inflation. The NHTSA ended up increasing fines from $ 5.50 to $ 14 for every 0.1 mile per gallon new cars and trucks would consume beyond required standards.
Sanctions have been postponed until automakers start producing 2022 models of their vehicles, a move that was enacted by the Trump administration earlier this year before Joe Biden finally replaced the former president. Today, the Trump administration’s delay is being challenged by Tesla, who wants lawmakers to reinstate regulations to encourage automakers to develop fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly powertrains. According to Reuters, Tesla called the actions of the Trump campaign “illegal” and said the delay in action “diminishes the value of the performance-based incentives that electric vehicle manufacturers, such as Tesla, accumulate under standards ”.
The Biden administration is currently opposing Tesla’s demand for immediate action as NHTSA is currently reviewing the Trump campaign’s decision to delay emissions penalties.
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The Trump campaign initially sought to delay sanctions on the emissions until July 2019, but the United States Court of Appeals overturned the decision. It has been met with a lot of backlash from individual states and several environmental groups. Additionally, former California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said, “The Trump administration has sought to make these sanctions meaningless.” Becerra is now secretary of health and social services.
Sierra Club Senior Counsel Alejandra Núñez said Reuters “The Trump administration cannot give polluting passes to automakers who are lagging behind in meeting the standards required by law.”
Several major US-based automakers plan to switch to zero-emission powertrains exclusively by a certain date. General Motors has announced that it will only manufacture electric powertrains by 2035. Ford intends to accomplish this by 2030, but only in its European market.