Trump Moves to Loosen Obama's Fuel Economy Rules

17 March, 2017, 01:32 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Donald Trump

Trump's goal of relaxing the requirements means more carbon in the atmosphere, hastening the day of rising temperatures and other worrisome impacts.

The governors of West Coast states, backed by mayors of major cities, are choking and wheezing at the Trump administration's decision to pull back on vehicle and truck fuel efficiency standards negotiated under the Obama administration. In January, shortly before Trump took office, Obama's Environmental Protection Agency locked that goal in place in a move that disappointed auto manufacturers.

The state filed a motion late Tuesday to intervene in a lawsuit that automakers had filed against the EPA (the automakers' lawsuit challenges the feasibility of the 2022-25 vehicle fuel pollution standards). Because EPA regulations allow for states to ask for waivers if they want stricter standards, this is what California did.

Trump said he's putting that midterm review back on track, so officials can spend another year studying the issue before setting new standards in 2018.

Trump announced in MI on Wednesday that the EPA would review federal mileage standards for 2022 to 2025. Trump said he had kept his promise to withdraw the USA from the TPP, an agreement that former President Barack Obama pursued with 11 other Pacific Rim nations.

Green groups appeared united in condemning the decision, which was one of the first of a long list of anti-regulatory actions anticipated by the Trump administration as it begins walking back the Obama administration's efforts to slow climate change.

Gov. Jerry Brown of California was more scathing in a letter to the new Environmental Protection Agency director (and climate-change denier) Scott Pruitt.

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But Trump said the action makes good on a campaign promise to help grow America's manufacturing sector.

Under Obama, the EPA had promulgated a rule for cars and trucks requiring a fleet-wide average of 36 mpg in real-world driving by 2025.

The industry cried foul in December when the Environmental Protection Agency issued a determination saying the U.S. auto industry would meet the latest standards.

Trump is now planning to review fuel efficiency standards that he feels are harming the industry. A decision is not due until April 2018. Electric auto innovator Tesla pushed for more stringent standards. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) standards came about because of severe motor vehicle air pollution problems in Los Angeles. Environmentalists have vowed to sue if the Trump administration weakens them.

"America will be respected again", Trump told automobile industry employees at a rally at the American Center for Mobility, a testing center for self-driving vehicles in Ypsilanti Township outside Detroit. However, the government says fuel savings would more than offset the added costs.

United Auto Workers president Dennis Williams said he appreciates Trump being there but he is anxious about environmental standards for the automobile industry. He spoke on condition of anonymity even though Trump has criticized the use of unnamed sources. "We're just doing the review that was originally agreed to".

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