The U.S. Wants to Close an ‘SUV Loophole’ That Supersized Cars
A new EPA proposal would make building bigger vehicles less attractive
Tough new rules on pollution from vehicles, proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week, could reshape one of the world’s largest industries and transform how millions of people get around. The goal, government officials say, is to get many more electric vehicles in many more driveways.
But another way to look at the proposed rules is as some 1,400 pages of modeling, charts and dense regulatory language—enough to make any environmental wonk’s heart chirp like an endangered songbird. And buried in there is a fascinating federal flip-flop: an attempt to close a loophole that may be partially responsible for the exploding size of passenger vehicles on U.S. roads.
To understand the change, you need to start in the 1970s, when the “SUV loophole,” as policy nerds call it, was created. Lawmakers were writing the nation’s first auto pollution rules, at a time when the only people driving heavy vehicles like trucks were folks who had things to haul or real reasons to drive off-road. Farmers and construction workers and such. Who else would shell out to buy and fuel such a big set of wheels? It made sense to place trucks under more lenient fuel-efficiency rules than for cars.
Please select this link to read the complete article from WIRED.