EPA Proposes Freezing Fuel Economy Standards At 35 MPG Until 2026

A brazen attack on America's future Trump's fuel-efficiency standard rollback will hurt the economy and environment

The Trump administration, taking aim at one of former President Barack Obama's signature environmental achievements, is proposing to freeze vehicle fuel economy requirements at the 2020 level and unwind California's authority to limit tailpipe emissions in the state. "More realistic standards will promote a healthy economy by bringing newer, safer, cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles to USA roads and we look forward to receiving input from the public".

It argued that this policy change was necessary because the Obama administration's standards "raised the cost and decreased the supply of newer, safer vehicles". California's standards are followed by 13 other states.

Taken together, the proposal is an aggressive move to dismantle what some environmentalists have hailed as one of the most potent efforts anywhere in the world to combat climate change.

The new guidelines will keep standards at 2020 levels until 2026, instead of mandating that they improve over this time period.

The proportion of passengers killed in cars that are older than 18 years is nearly double that of cars that are newer than three years, according to a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study.

California is expected to challenge the withdrawal of the waiver in court.

Reforming Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards is a huge tax cut for American auto buyers, up to a $7,200 per vehicle.

Environmental groups who support the gas mileage standards that aimed to reduce air pollution slammed the proposal.

The Trump administration is arguing that the multiple standards complicate regulation.

States that joined the lawsuit said the change would end up costing more money at the pump because vehicles won't go as far on a gallon of gas, and more misery for those suffering pollution-exacerbated maladies such as asthma. Securing America's Future Energy, a group dedicated to reducing independence on oil, noted that vehicle prices have actually fallen 3 percent since 2013, even as overall inflation increased 8 percent.

"For more than a decade, ME and the other states have used our rights under the Clean Air Act to limit tailpipe pollution beyond federal minimum requirements", Emmie Theberge, federal project director at NRCM, said in a statement. "But if not, I'd remind them that California has won this battle before".

The proposal to roll back anti-pollution efforts is in line with President Donald Trump's decision a year ago to abandon the 2015 Paris Agreement, under which countries agreed to take steps to mitigate global warming. "The administration is using a parade of horrors to justify an extreme rollback", said the Safe Climate Campaign. An Obama-era analysis found no harm to safety from making cars more efficient. CARB was created in 1967 to fight increasing air pollution in the state due to population growth, and its rules have been adopted by 12 other states and Washington D.C., according to the State of Maryland.

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