Industry asks for extension on technical CAFE review

Source: Ariel Wittenberg, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The automotive industry is asking U.S. EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for more time to review a 1,000-plus-page technical assessment of corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards.

The draft technical analysis report released earlier this month evaluates current market data, fuel prices and new technologies to assess whether manufacturers will be able to achieve CAFE standards for model years 2021 to 2025 (ClimateWire, July 19).

The federal government has given stakeholders 60 days to comment on the document, which will then be used to make a final determination about whether regulations written in 2012 are adequately aggressive and achievable.

But stakeholder groups say that though they have been cooperating with EPA and NHTSA as the agencies review their products, 60 days is not long enough to review the assessment, which is more than 1,200 pages long and cites 1,099 references.

Sixteen groups, including members of the auto, renewable fuels and rubber industries, have signed onto a letter asking for the comment period to be extended to at least 120 days.

“The draft [technical assessment report] provides the first opportunity for our members to understand whether and how the agencies have utilized and interpreted this information in its assessments,” they write.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers also sent its own letter requesting an extension.

“In order for the Mid-Term Evaluation to truly be a collaborative, data-driven and transparent process, the public comment period must be long enough to provide time for the public to fully understand the information that it has taken the agencies years to assimilate,” the organization writes.

EPA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.