Trump administration seeks rollback of Obama-era fuel efficiency rules


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- The Trump administration is proposing to roll back Obama-era mileage standards that were created to make cars more fuel efficient and reduce pollution and California Democrats are vowing to fight back.

The administration argues its proposal will reduce traffic fatalities by keeping the cost of vehicles down compared with the current emissions standards, which it claims are a safety hazard that "restrict the American people from being able to afford newer vehicles with more advanced safety features, better fuel economy, and associated environmental benefits".

The Obama rules were meant to ensure progress made during the Democrat's presidency would extend beyond it. Automakers over the last decade have employed lighter materials and tweaked vehicle design to boost fuel efficiency, changes that have improved mileage on even the biggest United States gas guzzlers.

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'California will fight this stupidity in every conceivable way possible'.

Thursday's rule-making proposal from the EPA and NHTSA also presents several other options for modifying the Obama targets, while recommending the proposed freeze starting in 2020, the most severe of the scenarios.

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. "It's going to cost drivers here and across the country hundreds of millions of dollars more at the pump".

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California and 16 other states filed suit over the fuel efficiency standards in May, anticipating the new regulation. And with President Donald Trump in the White House, the group would need a veto-proof majority to prevent the changes from going forward, should they actually receive and win a floor vote. At the moment, the state standard and the national one are the same-but if they diverged, automakers could end up making multiple versions of each vehicle to sell in different parts of the U.S. The Trump administration wants to take away California's right to set higher standards. "Households don't have a choice in what they pay at the pump so they need fuel efficient choices at the dealership, whether it's a auto, truck or SUV".

The newly proposed CAFE standards are thus good news to consumers, according to astatement from Myron Ebell, the director of CEI's Center for Energy and Environment. They said the average cost of a new automobile is $35,000 and attributed part of that to increasing fuel standards. The plunge in natural gas prices and other market forces have steadily lowered the climate impact of utilities, but transportation is proving more stubborn.

Chet France, an EPA senior executive until his retirement in 2012, called the administration's contention that the mileage freeze would cause only a tiny increase in climate-changing exhaust emissions "bogus". Standards would then remain at those levels through 2026.

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Gina McCarthy, thes EPA administrator under Obama, said the reversal of these standards "run contrary to sound science and the law". 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. Further, the administration is looking to strip California of the waiver that allows it to set its own standards. The rulemaking will set the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) and light-duty vehicle greenhouse emissions standards for light trucks and will set the greenhouse gas and mileage standards for 2021-2026.

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