How new fuel standards will impact California vehicles

Traffic flows near the interchanges that link I-495 and I-270

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The administration's proposal would freeze miles-per-gallon targets in 2020.

California - which is playing a world-leading role in setting aggressive climate goals and building strong coalitions of partners committed to curbing carbon pollution in both the United States and around the globe - will convene the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco in September.

Mui assumes that real world driving would result in about 80 percent of the fuel efficiency measured in laboratory testing.

Under restrictions passed by the Obama administration, the fleet-wide fuel economy would have risen gradually to about 47 mpg by 2025. And what the Trump administration is doing in trying to roll those back, it's going to cost hundreds of billions of dollars more at the pump. California received the exemption - the only state to do so - decades ago because it was already developing its own standards when federal rules were being written.

The proposal still needs to go through a public comment period before it can go into effect.

For all the drama surrounding the Trump administration's attempt to undo Obama-era fuel economy requirements, automakers are likely to stick to them until they get some answers. "More realistic standards will promote a healthy economy by bringing newer, safer, cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles to US roads", Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said in a statement. Still, hybrid and electric vehicles are a tough sell in the USA now, where combined they make up less than 4 per cent of the market, she said. But as consumers spend more on gas, the costs would start to balloon. The firm projects the policy would cost the US economy $457 billion and cause 13,000 deaths by 2050, as air quality suffers.

"The source of the safety benefits is from getting folks into affordable, more fuel efficient, cleaner safer cars", she told reporters.

What started as a mandate in the mid-1970's to reduce foreign imports of oil morphed into a costly and unworkable environmental regulation thanks to bureaucrats in the previous Administration and in Sacramento.

Two former EPA mileage officials said the administration's proposal departed from years of findings on fuel efficiency, vehicle safety, exhaust emissions and costs.

"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. "They have failed before".

"The National Auto Dealers Association estimates the federal standards demanded by California will add $3,000 to the cost of new motor vehicles by 2025, potentially pricing millions of low-income households out of the market for new cars", Marlo Lewis, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), said in astatement. "But if not, I'd remind them that California has won this battle before".

Those negotiations have gone nowhere.

The lawsuit filed in May in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia alleged the plan to dump the mileage standards violated the federal Clean Air Act and didn't follow the agency's own regulations.

©2018 Los Angeles Times, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Automakers have said they want improved efficiency but also want standards that account for the massive shift from cars to trucks and SUVs. And when they fail they are prohibitively expensive to fix and often require someone akin to a rocket scientist to troubleshoot. California accepted those standards.

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