Trump Pumps the Brakes on Obama-Era Fuel Standards - Hit & Run

Trump Pumps the Brakes on Obama-Era Fuel Standards - Hit & Run

The Trump proposal would freeze standards at 2020 levels when vehicles will be required to hit an average of 30 miles per gallon (48 kilometers per gallon) in real-world driving.

Officials said the aim of the new plan is to help with hurdles automakers face in producing fuel-efficient vehicles, which, on average, cost consumers $35,000 more.

"Freezing or weakening these standards puts the health of our children, seniors, and all communities at risk, and increases the rising costs of climate change for our states", a joint statement said. In 1989, aHarvard-Brookings study estimated that the modest 27.5 mile-per-gallon requirement at the time caused a 14 to 27 percent increase in traffic deaths because carmakers downsized vehicles.

"We strongly oppose the Trump administration plan to roll back these clean-car standards, and we're going to fight to do that", Shapiro said in a conference call with the attorneys general of California, Xavier Becerra, and Massachusetts, Maura Healey.

Pollution from cars, trucks and other on-road vehicles is the California's single-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, according to state data.

The US government on Thursday proposed weakening fuel efficiency requirements for cars and trucks, referred to as the clean vehicle rule.

The prospect of an extended legal fight has discomfited automakers, who had asked the administration to relax the Obama-era rules but don't want to see the USA market split in two, with different models of cars required in blue and red states.

The fuel-efficiency rules, which were key to former President Barack Obama's efforts to fight climate change, require auto makers to cut emissions enough.




The Transportation Department says the proposal would shrink regulatory costs for automakers by $319 billion through 2029, reducing by more than $60 billion what General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles each would have been expected to spend to comply with the Obama-era rules.

"My job as the state's attorney general is to protect my state's rights and interests and the environmental rights of all Pennsylvanians", Shapiro said.

"The clean auto standards are already saving our families billions at the pump, supporting almost 300,000 American jobs, and cleaning up risky tailpipe pollution", said Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

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

"There are compelling reasons for a new rulemaking on fuel economy standards for 2021-2026", said DOT Secretary Elaine Chao in a press release on Thursday. "Maine wants cleaner cars nationwide because upwind pollution matters so much to us, so we've done our part by using the best clean vehicle standards available". Several other states followed California's guidelines, creating a fragmented set of standards across the country.

The Union of Concerned Scientists said the rollback is "completely unacceptable".

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a main industry group, sought to stave off any dispute between California and the federal government that could split the USA auto market: "We urge California and the federal government to find a common sense solution that sets continued increases in vehicle efficiency standards while also meeting the needs of American drivers". Now they're only about one-third, with less-efficient trucks and SUVS making up the rest.

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