It’s been planned for a long time, but the Trump EPA has now made it official, revoking vehicle fuel efficiency standards put in place by Obama that would have reduced the carbon emissions from cars and trucks, which contribute 20% of all carbon released in the United States. That makes it one of the largest sources of the gases that cause global warming.
The Trump administration announced late Friday that it will formally suspend an Obama-era regulation that penalized automakers that didn’t meet fuel-efficiency requirements, Reuters reports.
After Congress ordered federal agencies to adjust existing penalties in 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued rules that more than doubled fines — from $5.50 per 0.1 mile to $14 for the same distance — for automakers that consume more fuel than standards allow.
The rules issued under former President Obama called for a fuel efficiency average of 46.7 miles per gallon by 2026, while the Trump administration’s rules call for 37 miles per gallon.
The Union of Concerned Scientists says that the science indicates just how serious the release of carbon from cars and trucks in this country is:
Our personal vehicles are a major cause of global warming. Collectively, cars and trucks account for nearly one-fifth of all US emissions, emitting around 24 pounds of carbon dioxide and other global-warming gases for every gallon of gas. About five pounds comes from the extraction, production, and delivery of the fuel, while the great bulk of heat-trapping emissions—more than 19 pounds per gallon—comes right out of a car’s tailpipe.
In total, the US transportation sector—which includes cars, trucks, planes, trains, ships, and freight—produces nearly thirty percent of all US global warming emissions, more than almost any other sector.
And let’s not forget Trump’s utterly moronic view of global warming:
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
Funny, then, that while the United States is doing everything it can to eliminate all programs to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, including withdrawing from the Paris accords, the Chinese are spending massively to reduce their own emissions:
Observers have argued that China has introduced vigorous policies that have already effectively reduced its carbon emissions, with some commentators extending this to the expectation that China will be the new leader in global climate mitigation (Biesecker and Watt, 2017; Zhao, 2017). In terms of CO2 output, China has already shown impressive results, even though the data on which this assessment is based suffers from a certain lack of accuracy and accountability (Korsbakken et al., 2016). China’s economy was heavily dependent on fossil fuels for decades, especially domestic coal, and saw a rapid growth of energy use and related CO2 emissions until 2010 (see Fig. 1). However, starting in 2008, the Chinese government adopted a proactive stance towards climate policy. Following the introduction of the 12th Five-Year-Plan (2011–2015), a policy shift towards a new low-carbon development model was introduced (Li and Wang, 2012). China’s rapid success in limiting its own domestic CO2 emissions has surprised many observers in the past few years, stemming from an increase in renewable energy and a decrease in the production and consumption of coal (see Fig. 1). The rise in renewable energies implies a rapid increase in installed domestic capacity, which began under the clean development mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol, after which China became the largest CDM recipient (Wang, 2010). As a consequence of continued massive Chinese investment in renewables, China emerged as one of the leading producers of wind and solar power technologies, and in certain segments of solar, wind, and hydro energy, it has also become an innovator and provider of South–South and South–North technology transfer (Urban, 2018).
And remember that China has about 4 times the population of the United States, yet China produces about 7.5 metric tons per capita annually while the United States produces about 16.5 metric tons per capita annually. That’s a huge difference. If it’s a hoax to collapse the American economy, they’re doing a pretty poor job of it.