Trump administration proposes mileage rollback

Trump team wants to roll back Obama-era mileage standards

EPA moves to scrap Obama-era clean car rules and sets up fight with California

"More realistic standards will promote a healthy economy by bringing newer, safer, cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles to USA roads, and we look forward to receiving input from the public".

According to the Sierra Club, the standards put in place under the Obama administration were part of a "grand bargain" among automakers, the NHTSA, the EPA, and the California Air Resources Board, along with buy-in from labor unions and environmental groups. Another potential wrench in the proposal is that California and several other states have voluntarily adopted higher gas mileage standards, setting up a conflict between automakers that want a uniform standard for all states.

California Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, called the proposal "reckless".

"For Trump to now destroy a law first enacted at the request of Ronald Reagan five decades ago is a betrayal and an assault on the health of Americans everywhere", Brown said.

Seventeen states, including California, had filed a lawsuit in May challenging the EPA's decision in April to declare current USA vehicle emission targets "not appropriate". Colorado announced plans to become the fourteenth.

On Thursday, the Trump administration announced that it was planning to revoke the waiver that allowed California to set its own emissions standards for cars and trucks.

Mark Chambers, director of the New York City's Office of Sustainability, says advancing the Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency or CAFE standard is critical to meeting clean-energy goals and reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.

The only way to lower Carbon dioxide emissions from cars is to reduce the actual amount of fuel burned - it can not be easily filtered out or reduced like other pollutants. The standards are the most effective climate policy the United States has on the books today and an example of how scientists and industry can work together to create good public policy that protects everyone.

But the Trump administration made it clear that it believes the Obama administration's 2012 decision to implement aggressive fuel economy regulations hasn't aged well. All have Democratic attorneys general. Seeing the trouble ahead, automakers have asked the government to come to some sort of agreement with California regulators. "We are ready to do what is necessary to hold this Administration accountable". The Trump administration is set to propose a freeze on the standards after 2020, keeping the fleet-wide standard at about 37 miles per gallon rather than allowing it to tighten to over 50 mpg through 2025. The standards have delivered cleaner cars of every size and class to consumers every year.

The Trump administration says it wants to freeze mileage standards at 2020 levels.

The administration's report projects that relaxing auto standards would mean 60,000 fewer auto jobs by 2030. The agencies also argue that the current standards have been a factor in the rising cost of new cars. "That changes driving habits, that changes the kinds of cars and trucks that people want to buy, that changes what is possible in terms of vehicle fuel efficiency". The administration said the proposed plan will prevent thousands of on-road fatalities and injuries.

The notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) - the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks (SAFE Vehicles Rule) - aims to "give the American people greater access to safer, more affordable vehicles that are cleaner for the environment", the agencies say in a press release.

"What we ultimately would like is a one national program across the country", Barra said.

The administration said vehicle manufacturers would benefit from the proposed rollback, but the USA auto industry is pushing for a negotiated settlement between states and the administration to lift uncertainty over the kinds of cars and trucks it will need to produce for the American market in the coming years. She did agree, though, that some easing of the fuel economy requirements was needed but nothing as drastic as the Trump administration's proposal. Heidi King, the deputy administrator of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, said the administration is excited about the idea of getting more modern cars on the road to replace older, less efficient ones.

With the undeniable signs of climate change increasing each season, making consumers use more fossil fuel, even when fuel efficiency technology is available and cost-effective, is at best short-sighted and at worst cynical and destructive.

"Automakers support continued improvements in fuel economy and flexibilities that incentivize advanced technologies while balancing priorities like affordability, safety, jobs and the environment", the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which represents major auto companies on USA policy issues, said in a statement.

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