A Chevrolet dealership in Chantilly, Virginia has reportedly cancelled a planned event hosting EPA Chief Scott Pruitt tomorrow in a claimed effort to avoid the Chevy brand being associated with an expected announcement about the government rolling back Obama-era emissions standards and California’s right to set its own pollution rules, according to the New York Times.
Earlier today in a news release, Pruitt announced a challenge to the Obama administration’s standards established in 2012 requiring automakers to achieve a standard of 54 MPG for light-duty vehicles by 2025, claiming the move was made with “politically charged expediency,” and that it made assumptions that “didn’t comport with reality.”
Pruitt was expected to make a public announcement about the EPA’s new plans at the Pohanka Chevrolet dealership on Tuesday, supposedly at an event that has now been cancelled.
Here’s more from the New York Times:
Mr. Pruitt had been expected to announce the effort on Tuesday at a Chevrolet dealership in suburban Virginia. But those plans were complicated by an angry pushback from some Chevy dealers who were reluctant to see the brand associated with the announcement, according to two Chevy dealers who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing their relationship with General Motors.
Late on Monday, the Virginia dealership, Pohanka Chevrolet in Chantilly, said the EPA event had planned to host had been cancelled.
According to E&E News, Pohanka Chevrolet did not respond to questions and deferred to the National Automobile Dealers Association.
The NADA responded to Jalopnik’s request for comment, claiming there was never an event planned for an announcement, despite the NYT’s reporting:
Unfortunately there were some inaccurate press reports on this last week and the situation has not improved with time. There was never a media event scheduled for the EPA to make its announcement on the MTR (as you know, EPA made its announcement today), so nothing has been cancelled because there is nothing to cancel.
The dealership owner, Geoffrey Pohanka, has openly criticized the scientific consensus concerning human-driven climate change on his website called Is There Global Cooling? It cites an argument which aligns with previous comments by Pruitt. Here’s an excerpt from the about the author page on Pohanka’s website:
This website has no sponsors or financial supporters, it is entirely the creation of myself. I am simply a private individual in a family business, and wish to help people to better understand that there is no consensus on this subject and nor should there be. While I question that the source of the earth’s warming is from man, I am for reducing our reliance on foreign sources of energy, the development of renewable energy (the ones that make sense), and for better fuel economy from the vehicles we drive. I care deeply about our planet but also our country.
Earlier today, numerous environmental groups pushed back on Pruitt’s proposal to cut back on stricter emissions and mileage standards. The move would also specifically target the state of California and its right to establish its own standards under the Clean Air Act.
The EPA would likely face a legal challenge from the state, which could ultimately lead to two separate standards for automakers to abide to in the U.S., as twelve other states follow California’s stricter standards.
Jalopnik reached out to Chevrolet for comment Monday night and will update when more information is available.