Trump administration proposes mileage rollback

Trump administration proposes mileage rollback

The administration wants to freeze a rule mandating that automakers work to make cars substantially more fuel efficient. This would result in an average fuel economy for passenger cars of 43.7 mpg and for light trucks of 31.3 mpg.

Under the Clean Air Act, California is allowed to enforce stricter vehicle emissions standards than those mandated under federal law. The rollback is not just an attack on our state, but on the 12 other states that choose to follow California's more protective standards and all the other states that have the right to choose to follow California standards if they wish, as Colorado is now moving to do.

But the argument that it makes a big impact is "laughable", said Robert Weissman, president of watchdog group Public Citizen, in a statement. "California will fight this stupidity in every conceivable way possible".

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. Colorado announced plans to become the fourteenth. The proposal announced Thursday would withdraw California's waiver to set its own fuel efficiency standard, saying that the state has not proven that it needs its own standards to meet "compelling and extraordinary conditions" to address environmental problems.

California, for example, has been historically allowed to set more stringent emissions standards than the federal government to curb pollution.

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.

"Our proposal aims to strike the right regulatory balance based on the most recent information and create a 50-state solution that will enable more Americans to afford newer, safer vehicles that pollute less", the EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said.

The attorneys general of 20 states, including California, pledged to sue the Trump administration.

Weissman said the "the Trump administration's rollback of clean vehicle standards is a disastrous wreck for consumers and the planet" and said it will force Americans "to pay more at the pump and breathe dirtier air".

But the Trump administration has consistently criticized the policy as bad for the vehicle industry. The NPRM is the "first formal step" in setting the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) and light-duty vehicle GHG emissions standards that must be achieved by each automaker for its auto and light-duty truck fleet, as mandated by Congress.

Officials in the Trump administration said their actions would make autos more affordable and that would make roads safer because more motorists would be driving newer cars with the latest safety features.

The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation cited safety as one reason for the changes.

Automakers have made it clear that while they wanted more flexibility in meeting fuel economy targets, they also recognized that a sizable portion of the public expected fuel efficiency to keep rising and that any standards should take that into account while also allowing them more room to sell larger, less fuel-efficient SUVs, cars and trucks US consumers are demanding in showrooms.

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

Rebecca Lindland, an industry analyst with Kelly Blue Book who was involved in an Obama-era review of the standards, said consumers do not place a high priority on fuel economy when buying a new vehicle but they do place a priority on safety.

To justify this policy, the agencies are twisting themselves in knots and ignoring their own analysis that show safe, cost-effective technologies exist to continue to improve efficiency, cut emissions, and save consumers money at the pump.

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.

"The uncertainty this causes didn't need to happen", she said.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the proposed freeze would prevent vehicle prices from increasing by an average of about $2,340.