WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – The Environmental Protection Agency has announced it is scrapping rules requiring vehicles to be more fuel efficient.
One of the rules being cut mandates that new cars average about 50 miles per gallon of gas by 2025.
“Those standards were inappropriate and should be revised,” said EPA administrator Scott Pruitt.
The Obama administration put the rules in place to cut down on greenhouse gasses, but Pruitt is on the record questioning the impact of CO2 emissions on the environment.
“I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something that’s very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact,” he said back in March.
The EPA decision sets up a legal challenge from California. The state has a federal waiver under the Clean Air Act to set its own emissions standards and says it will stick with the current rules.
California Governor Jerry Brown says the EPA’s decision will “poison our air and jeopardize the health of all Americans.”
The fight over fuel standards comes as Pruitt faces ethical questions about a condo he rented when he first moved to Washington D.C.
Until last July, Pruitt was renting a condo for $50 per night from the wife of Steven Hart, chairman at a top Washington lobbying firm. Hart’s firm reportedly lobbied “to scale back Obama-era EPA rules limiting greenhouse-gas emissions from existing power plants.”
The EPA also reportedly signed off on a pipeline plan for another company linked to the firm while Pruitt was a renter.
An administration official told CBS News that Trump called Pruitt Monday night to tell him the White House has his back.