Science

Trump administration reveals plans to roll back vehicle fuel standards

Trump administration reveals plans to roll back vehicle fuel standards”

Nineteen US states have announced plans to sue the Trump administration over its "reckless and illegal plan" to rollback Obama-era clean vehicle rules.

The Environmental Protection Agency proposed a set of new fuel economy and emissions standards on August 2, estimated to result in 12,700 fewer traffic deaths, make passenger cars more affordable, and give automakers more freedom to create cars based on consumer preference rather than government mandate.

The 19 states, and Washington D.C, announced what is likely to be a legal showdown over the proposal. "We are prepared to go to court to put the brakes on this reckless and illegal plan".

The Trump administration also said on Thursday that it will propose to rescind California's unique authority to set its own fuel economy standards and that the EPA and DOT hope to set one national gas mileage and emissions standard for the entire nation.

Under the Obama administration's Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, new cars sold in the USA must average about 54 miles per gallon by 2025.

Healey, the attorney general for MA, said: "This absolutely has to be one of the most harmful and dumbest actions the EPA has taken".

"The fleet of new vehicles today is the most fuel efficient ever, and they have gotten safer every year", said Luke Tonachel, director of clean vehicles and fuels at the Natural Resources Defense Council. Twelve other states have adopted those tougher rules, representing about 40 percent of the country's auto market.

Along with states, the auto industry and the EPA's own advisors, the Trump administration is also attracting hefty criticism from environmental groups. President Trump should be commended for standing up for American consumers by reducing the regulatory burden placed unnecessarily on automakers.

In the draft proposal published today by the EPA and the Transportation Department, the Trump administration says that the amendments are being made because current standards are "no longer appropriate and reasonable". "It's a boon for big oil that ordinary Americans will pay for with their health and their wallets". The proposal blames the continued increasing price of new cars, in part, on keeping up with stricter emissions rules, saying it will add an average of $2,430 to the price of new vehicles. Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger pointed out that it was Ronald Reagan who sought out California's right to regulate emissions.

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".

At press time, only Fiat Chrysler Automobiles had responded to the proposed rules: "The proposal includes a range of options, and we will carefully evaluate how each aligns with FCA's goals of continuous improvement in vehicle efficiency and, at the same time, building vehicles customers want, at prices they can afford".



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