Published: Sat, August 04, 2018
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

United States eyes freeze of fuel efficiency rules

United States eyes freeze of fuel efficiency rules

In May, California and 16 other states filed a preemptive lawsuit arguing the rollback would be illegal. "California will fight this stupidity in every conceivable way possible", Governor Jerry Brown said in a statement.

"The EPA has handed decision making over to the fossil fuel lobbyists ... the flat-Earthers, the climate change deniers", said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.

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.

The proposed change, halting further improvement requirements, stakes its case on consumer choice and on highway safety claims challenged by many transportation experts.

The administration will now seek public comment on its proposal and a range of other options, including leaving the tighter, Obama fuel standards in place.

"The federal government can not take away permission that its already granted", said Irene Gutierrez, an attorney with the environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council.

Backers of the Obama-era rules dismissed these points, noting that more efficient fuel rules meant consumers would spend less on gasoline, while reducing emissions that cause global warming.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger says President Donald Trump is ¿out of his mind¿ for terminating Obama-era fuel emission standards while denying his home state of California the legal right to impose its own regulations. A long court challenge threatens to tear the auto industry into two distribution streams, where two-thirds of the USA market receives less efficient vehicles and the other third receives more efficient ones.

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

Opponents are concerned about the rollback's effects on air quality. In scrapping it, the administration is relying on disputed modeling that projects vehicles that get more miles to the gallon would lead motorists to drive more frequently, thus increasing the number of traffic fatalities. That argument remained on the EPA's website Thursday.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday ripped news reports the Trump administration was moving to reverse Obama-era fuel and emissions standards after two agencies proposed setting new limits for 2020.

"More realistic standards will promote a healthy economy by bringing newer, safer, cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles to USA roads", said Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. The administration's assertion that lighter, more fuel efficient cars are more risky has been disputed by transport experts.

General Motors said in a statement that it wants to work "with all parties to achieve one national 50-state program", adding that it was committed to "continually improving fuel economy and our commitment to an all-electric future". Becerra also promised to sue if the Trump administration makes good on plans to revoke a longstanding waiver allowing California and other states to set their own stricter auto emissions standards. The federal government has issued a waiver for years so that California can set higher mileage standards than the rest of the country. "The data and science does not back up what they are trying to do, which is to eviscerate these California standards". "California will continue to invest in charging stations to meet consumers' demand for zero-emission cars and make them available regardless of your income level".

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