Trump administration to freeze fuel efficiency requirements

03 August, 2018, 05:31 | Author: Sherry Houston
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The federal agencies have also referenced a "50-state program", calling into question California's authority to implement its own more strict emissions regulations.

The proposal from the U.S. Transportation Department and Environmental Protection Agency would freeze fuel efficiency standards at 2020 levels through 2026, and require dramatically fewer electric vehicles as more people continue to drive gasoline-powered vehicles.

It's got 'everything to do with just trying to turn over the fleet. and get more clean and safe cars on the road, ' EPA assistant administrator Bill Wehrum said.

But private transportation experts say there are so many factors involved that the 1,000-lives figure is questionable.

Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown responded swiftly.

'California will fight this stupidity in every conceivable way possible'. The Obama administration estimated that the increased standards would save 12bn barrels of oil.

The EPA's Scientific Advisory Board said in June that it would review a number of the changes made under former Administrator Scott Pruitt, including the plan to reduce vehicle efficiency standards.

The Natural Resources Defense Council said the administration is "driving our auto future in reverse". "Maine wants cleaner cars nationwide because upwind pollution matters so much to us, so we've done our part by using the best clean auto standards available".

Under the Obama administration, automakers were required to reach a fleetwide average fuel economy for all cars and light trucks of 51.4 miles per gallon by 2025.

Automakers had long bemoaned the Obama standards as too hard to meet, especially as more consumers choose larger trucks, crossovers and SUVs, which guzzle more gasoline.

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The affordability argument ignores thousands of dollars of saving in fuel costs for each driver over the life of a vehicle, opponents of the rollbacks said.

The proposal will be open to 60 days of public comment, but the rule is expected to be finalized this winter.

Myron Ebell, a senior energy scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and Trump EPA transition chair, cheered the Trump administration's proposed rule change on Thursday.

Auto jobs were not a major part of administration officials' case Thursday for the rollbacks.

The Trump administration has moved to weaken USA vehicle emissions standards and has set up a major confrontation with California by scrapping its ability to enact stricter pollution standards and mandate the sale of electric cars.

The states following California's lead account for more than a third of the vehicles sold nationwide.

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.

Those states have said they'll sue to keep their emissions standards on the books. "With today's release of the administration's proposals, it's time for substantive negotiations to begin", Gloria Bergquist, a spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said in a statement to the New York Times.

In a 978-page document (pdf) released on August 2, the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are also proposing to retract a waiver issued to California in 2013, which enabled the state to set its own stricter emissions standards.


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