Sen. Tom Carper sent a letter Oct. 16 to Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler urging both to reverse course on President Donald Trump’s administration’s proposal that undermines Obama-era fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards.

Carper also highlighted a non-exhaustive list of 10 deficiencies in the proposal, including the inaccurate assertion that the maximum feasible fuel economy and tailpipe standards can legally be frozen for the better part of a decade; flaws in the legal reasoning used to argue that California’s authority to set its own clean car standards should be removed; disregard of technology cost and fuel-efficiency data; and non-credible predictions of the consumer and driving behavior used to underpin the proposal’s safety findings.

“…Your proposal, if finalized, would harm U.S. national and economic security. It would also undermine efforts to combat global warming pollution, create regulatory and manufacturing uncertainty for the automobile industry and unnecessary litigation, and increase the amount of gasoline consumers would have to buy…I urge you to abandon your current approach and do all that you can to support efforts to identify and finalize a ‘win-win,’ consensus approach,” wrote Carper.

Carper warns of litigation if the proposal’s flaws are not remedied, adding that “…A likely outcome of that litigation is that courts will overturn NHTSA’s proposed model year 2021-26 fuel economy standards, leaving no fuel economy standards whatsoever in place starting in model year 2022, and will additionally overturn EPA’s proposed modifications to its existing model year 2021-26 tailpipe standards, leaving the current, more stringent EPA tailpipe standards in place.”

In May 2018, Carper called on Chao and then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to reverse course on a draft proposal obtained by Carper’s office that would weaken fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards far beyond what even the U.S. auto industry had requested. When the extreme proposal was submitted to the White House in August, Carper decried the plan, highlighting the ways in which rolling back smart, effective clean car standards would hurt American business and the planet.

The full text of the letter is available at