Trump administration reveals plans to roll back vehicle fuel standards

EPA C02 Standards

That would price many buyers out of the new-vehicle market, forcing them to drive older, less-safe vehicles that pollute more, the administration says. "Not only does fuel savings cover the cost of fuel efficient technology, but it also covers all of the other costs that go into automakers annual price increases, including new safety features".

The Obama standards called for vehicles to get around 50 miles to the gallon by the year 2025.

Proposed fuel economy rules won't be as strict as those set out in 2012.

"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", Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement, adding that the White House is seeking a solution amenable to all 50 states.

The attorneys general, as well as a wide range of environmental groups, lashed out at the proposal introduced Thursday by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The administration's assertion that lighter, more fuel efficient cars are more unsafe has been disputed by transport experts.

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

The Trump administration has served notice that it plans to roll back tough gas mileage standards scheduled for 2021 by the Obama administration.

The fuel-efficiency rules, which were key to former President Barack Obama's efforts to fight climate change, require auto makers to cut emissions enough.

"For more than a decade, ME and the other states have used our rights under the Clean Air Act to limit tailpipe pollution beyond federal minimum requirements", Emmie Theberge, federal project director at NRCM, said in a statement.

Becerra said California is "ready and willing" to talk with Trump administration regulators, but that previous talks have not been fruitful.

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President Donald Trump had directed the rethink of the mileage regulations, saying in March 2017, "If the standards threatened auto jobs, then common-sense changes" were needed.

But private transportation experts say there are so many factors involved that the 1,000-lives figure is questionable. "The administration's announcement that it will relax future fuel economy (CAFE) standards is good news for consumers", Myron Ebell, director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Center for Energy and Environment, said in a statement. "CA DOJ will use every legal tool at its disposal to defend today's national standards and reaffirm the facts and science behind them".

The administration also contends that hiking USA oil consumption by 2 to 3 percent over forecast levels would have a minimal impact on the environment, boosting global average temperature by just "3/1000th of a degree Celsius by 2100".

Other states that joined in the lawsuit were: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia. But any plans to freeze clean air rules and strip California of its power to set its own rules is drawing fire from members of both parties. Now they're only about one-third, with less-efficient trucks and SUVS making up the rest.

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