NHTSA Plans to Withdraw Parts of SAFE I Vehicle Emissions Rule

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration plans withdraw its portions of the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient or SAFE I rule established in March 2020 that prevents states – especially California – from issuing their own greenhouse gas or GHG emissions standards and zero-emissions vehicle mandates.

[Above photo by NHTSA]

The agency said in a statement that its proposed action “would establish a clean slate,” enabling the U.S. Department to Transportation to implement a variety of Biden administration fuel economy, equity, and climate change priorities.

NHTSA – which is seeking public comment on its withdrawal notice – said the SAFE I Rule falls “beyond the agency’s statutory authority” by purporting to impose broad preemption requirements.

“States have been leading the way, especially over the last four years, when it comes to cleaning up pollution and addressing climate change,” explained Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s acting administrator, in a statement – adding that withdrawing the SAFE I rule removes “unnecessary barriers to state leadership” in regulating vehicle GHGs and other air pollutants.

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