"The agency’s watchdog office said Monday it would investigate whether the reversal of Obama-era fuel efficiency standards violated government rules."
"WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency’s internal watchdog said Monday it had opened an investigation into the agency’s weakening of Obama-era regulations that would have limited automobile emissions by significantly raising fuel economy standards.
The inspector general demanded that top E.P.A. officials turn over briefing materials and other documents pertaining to the regulation, which was finalized in late March as the Trump administration’s single largest rollback of federal climate change rules.
Auditors said they intended to investigate whether the Trump administration acted “consistent with requirements, including those pertaining to transparency, record-keeping, and docketing, and followed the E.P.A.’s process for developing final regulatory actions.”
The yearlong effort to write the Trump administration rule was plagued with controversy. Just weeks before the final rule was published, the administration’s own internal analyses showed that it would create a higher cost for consumers than leaving the Obama-era standard in place and would contribute to more deaths associated with lung disease by releasing more pollution into the air."
Coral Davenport and Lisa Friedman report for the New York Times July 27, 2020.
"EPA Watchdog Kicks Off Probe After Agency Slashed Fuel Efficiency Regs" (The Hill)
"Inspector General To Review U.S. EPA Vehicle Emissions Rewrite" (Reuters)