USA eyes freeze of fuel efficiency rules

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

Dear America, chill out. New standards will save lives and not ruin the world

In 2012, the Obama administration directed automakers to nearly double the average fuel economy of new vehicles by 2025. But at that point the two rules diverge, with the Obama era rule mandating continued increases in efficiency.

"The earth is not flat and climate change is real", Becerra said.

The Trump administration has moved to weaken U.S. vehicle emissions standards and has set up a major confrontation with California by scrapping its ability to enact stricter pollution standards and mandate the sale of electric cars.

Mitch Bailwol, the president and chief executive of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said in April that he remains committed to one national mileage and emissions standard.

"We are going to fight like hell to make sure what was proposed does not get enacted", said the panel's ranking member, Thomas R. Carper of Delaware.

All of this could be somewhat mitigated if California can set stronger standards; at the moment, the state and federal standard are the same.

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

The administration's rule aims to preempt California's Clean Air Act (CAA) waiver and argues that it should be pulled entirely.

California and NY are among the states signing on to a statement Thursday pledging legal action against the Trump administration's action on fuel efficiency.

One of the reasons given for the change was to reduce costs for consumers, allowing them to upgrade to newer, safer vehicles.

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

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

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Setting up a showdown with California, the Trump administration on Thursday announced a plan to revoke a signature Obama-era environmental regulation. "The notice lays out a series of options on how to go forward with CAFE standards and the notice asked for comments on a range of options".

The Obama-era rules also drove auto prices higher, since prior estimates fell short of what incremental improvements to fuel efficiency actually cost.

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

Public health experts and environmental groups condemned the White House proposal even before its official release, arguing that it overlooks how much money Americans would save at the pump if cars were more efficient and also squanders a chance to cut pollution from the transportation sector, which has become the nation's largest source of carbon dioxide emissions. As a result, auto prices are soaring.

The states that have adopted California's emission rules together make up about one third of the USA auto market.

More immediately, the administration believes that locking in the 2020-21 standards will save up to 1,000 lives on the road a year, because under the change it is projecting more Americans will be able to purchase newer, safer cars. "It means that the federal government will have slightly less control over the kinds of cars and trucks people can buy". 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. "Americans shouldn't be denied the ability to purchase a auto or truck that meets their needs".

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