President Trump will formally order the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week to review whether one of its car emissions regulations should be scaled back.
Trump will make the announcement during a Wednesday trip to Michigan, the center of the domestic auto manufacturing industry, according to two people familiar with the plans.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer confirmed Trump’s Detroit trip during a briefing on Monday. He said Trump will “meet with auto executives and workers and manufacturing suppliers, highlighting the need to eliminate burdensome regulations that needlessly hinder meaningful job growth.”
According to sources, the order would instruct the EPA to reopen a formal review that the Obama administration completed in January to examine whether the aggressive greenhouse gas emissions standards set in 2012 should continue to be strengthened during the 2022 to 2025 model years, or should be weakened.
The auto industry has pushed Trump repeatedly to revise the rules, saying that while it is possible to comply with them, it would be unnecessarily expensive. Automakers also object to the Obama administration closing out the review process in January, when it was scheduled to close in 2018.
Trump met with automaker executives in the White House days after the inauguration, saying in part that environmental regulations are “out of control.”
“We’re going to make the process much more simple for the auto companies and for everybody else who wants to do business in the United States,” Trump said.
“You’re going to find this to be from being very inhospitable to extremely hospitable.”
Trump is expected this week to also sign orders to start undoing the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and the moratorium on new coal mining leases on federal land.
The car greenhouse gas rules were developed and enforced alongside the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) vehicle efficiency rules, and administered as one program.
The historic standards envision an auto fleet that averages 54.5 miles per gallon in the 2025 model year.
EPA chief Scott Pruitt told CNBC last week that the administration would announce an effort “very soon” on the greenhouse gas and efficiency program.
“I think what was concerning to me, and I think concerning to the president, is how that process occurred,” he said, referring to the timing of the review.
Environmentalists and consumer advocates applauded the Obama administration’s actions and want the standards to remain in place, arguing that they help protect the climate and save consumers money.
Trump’s announcement will come as part of an event at the American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti, Reuters and the Detroit News said. He will also meet with the leaders of major automakers.
—Devin Henry contributed. This post was updated at 1:33 p.m.