Utilities join with Tesla to sue EPA over fuel standard rollback
Electric vehicles are a key area of growth for electric utilities, many of which have seen their power demand stagnate or decline since the 2008 recession. Charging an EV, experts say, typically doubles the electricity consumption of a small residential customer.
But EV proponents worry that efforts from the Trump administration to roll back fuel efficiency standards will slow the growth of electric vehicles.
Under Obama’s fuel standards, light duty vehicles would have had to get 36 miles per gallon by 2025. The White House reviewed those rules in early 2017 before Trump took office, finding they were “technologically feasible,” which is the standard set for industry regulations under the Clean Air Act.
The Trump EPA, however, withdrew that determination in April, saying past analyses were “optimistic” with respect to EV growth and technology advancement. The administration is now reportedly circulating a proposal that would freeze fuel standards after 2020.
The D.C. Circuit filing from utilities and transportation companies challenges that withdrawal. The group, called the National Coalition for Advanced Transportation, wants the federal appeals court to review the EPA’s decision to revisit the standards.
The group is made up of 16 companies. Twelve are utilities, including Edison International, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, Pacific Gas & Electric, Portland General Electric, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Exelon and its subsidiaries Atlantic City Electric, Baltimore Gas & Electric, Commonwelath Edison, Delmarva Power, PECO and PEPCO.