EPA chief defends decision to pull out of California mpg talks

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler defended the Trump administration’s decision to pull out of talks with California about new rules for gas mileage.

Speaking to reporters Thursday at the Washington Auto Show, Wheeler said he is confident the Trump administration’s proposal to roll back stringent rules that would require automakers to produce fleets that average more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025 will hold up in court if it is successfully finalized later this year.

“Our goal from the beginning was a 50-state solution,” he said. “I met with (the California Air Resources Board) three times since taking the helm of EPA last July. But despite our best efforts, we could not reach a solution and decided to end the discussions. We embrace federalism and the role of states, but federalism does not mean that one state can dictate the standards for the entire nation.”