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

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

The EPA also confirmed plans to strip California of its special authority to set its own fuel economy levels for vehicles, citing a 50-state solution in the proposal.

A coalition of 17 states sued the EPA in May after it first announced plans to lower the fuel standards. But one fear is a protracted legal fight between the federal government and California and other progressive states.

"Everyone loses at the end", says Simon Mui, a senior scientist at the environmental nonprofit NRDC and the California lead for the organizations' clean vehicles and fuels, climate, and energy program.

Thirteen states, plus Washington, DC, have adopted California's standards.

But Becerra, the California attorney general, said the EPA is rewriting its own detailed analysis from 2012 and that his state is set to exceed its goal of electric vehicles. The timeline could then align with the finalization of the fuel efficiency changes, as the proposed rule still needs to work its way through a lengthy public comment process.

Two former EPA mileage officials said the administration's proposal departed from years of findings on fuel efficiency, vehicle safety, exhaust emissions and costs. California and other states which follow its standard have indicated they will take legal action, which could significantly delay matters. The plunge in natural gas prices and other market forces have steadily lowered the climate impact of utilities, but transportation is proving more stubborn.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have unveiled their new proposal for fuel economy standards following the scrapping of the Obama-era plan which called for a corporate average fuel economy rating of 54.5 mpg (65.4 mpg United Kingdom / 4.3L / 100km) by 2025. 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.

"Californians have a right to breathe clean air, and we're not giving that up to President Trump without a fight", Feinstein said.

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Confirming a leak from yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed not to change average fleet fuel economy standards at their 2020 levels from 2021 through 2026.

Democratic lawmakers and environmental groups argue the move will harm the environment, however. It also claims that lower new vehicle prices would mean more folks buying them and moving out of older, less safe cars.

Heidi King, deputy administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said the freeze would reduce highway deaths by 1,000 per year 'by reducing these barriers that prevent consumers from getting into the newer, safer, cleaner, more fuel-efficient cars'.

Besides, California - which is essentially now a foreign country - should not control the auto market and decide pollution and mileage standards for the rest of the country.

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

Today's cars contain so many computers and must be manufactured to produce so much horsepower out of as little motor as possible that they have become nothing more than rolling computers on the brink of failure. "Safety is up, fuel economy is up and sales are up".

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation said the increase in emission standards for cars built from 2021 to 2026 would hurt auto sales and improve safety of motorists across the country.

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