Trump EPA to Roll Back Back Obama-Era Gas Mileage Standards

Trump's EPA formally launches attack on California's fuel-economy rules

The EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the administration supports freezing the mileage standards after 2020, but would seek public comment now on that proposal and a range of others, including leaving the tighter, Obama administration fuel standards in place. Under the Obama plan, the fleetwide fuel economy would have risen gradually to roughly 47 mpg by 2025.

The proposal to roll back anti-pollution efforts is in line with President Donald Trump's decision past year to abandon the 2015 Paris Agreement, under which countries agreed to take steps to mitigate global warming.

As expected, the government claims the new fuel economy standards are "anticipated to prevent thousands of on-road fatalities and injuries as compared to the standards set forth in the 2012 final rule".

The states that have adopted California's emission rules together make up about one third of the us auto market.

The auto industry, which has often baulked at the higher costs associated with the tougher United States standards, strongly backs a national standard that could be negotiated between Washington and California.

"I feel like we have a very good and strong case", state Attorney General Xavier Becerra said.

A group of 20 state attorneys general announced their intent to sue the government over the EPA's proposed rules, arguing that the new guidelines would cost Americans up to $236 billion in gas and add the equivalent of emissions from 400 million cars.

Federal data show the increased cost consumers would pay for the more efficient vehicles is dwarfed by the amount of money they would save at the pump, undermining the argument that drivers will stay in older, unsafe vehicles, advocates for the tougher rules say.

The proposal would also end a federal waiver to California that allowed the it to enact stricter tailpipe standards, thereby limiting the types of cars that can be sold in the nation's most populous state.

Transportation experts question the reasoning behind the proposal.

The proposal argues that forcing automakers to reach a fleet-wide average of 51.4 miles per gallon by 2025, as the Obama administration required, would make vehicles more expensive and encourage people to stick to driving older, less-safe cars and trucks.

The administration wants to freeze a rule mandating that automakers work to make cars substantially more fuel efficient.

"Californians have a right to breathe clean air, and we're not giving that up to President Trump without a fight", Feinstein said.

We are delivering on President Trump's promise to the American public that his administration would address and fix the current fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards. Assuming, strictly for illustration purposes, a gasoline price of three dollars per gallon, that would result in an increased annual fuel expenditure of about $318. It also claims that lower new vehicle prices would mean more folks buying them and moving out of older, less safe cars.

The rollback has provoked outcry from environmental and health groups, as well as states who are pushing for cleaner vehicle fleets. California, 16 states and the District of Columbia have already filed a lawsuit that challenges the plan's scientific underpinnings. The affordability argument also ignores thousands of dollars of saving in fuel costs for each driver over the life of a auto, opponents of the rollbacks said.

U.S. Rep. Alan Lowenthal, who represents Long Beach, noted this last week in a post on social media where he cast the White House's plan to freeze fuel efficiency standards as a "bitter misguided attack" on both California and the environment. The new proposal would freeze standards at 2020 levels.

Related:

Comments

Other news