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Trump proposes capping fuel economy standards at 2020 level

03 August 2018

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 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.

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". It would also move to end California's current power to set its own, higher standards. Becerra vowed Thursday to fight the White House's proposed changes, along with attorney generals from 18 other states.

"It's a proposal that attacks the states' right to protect people from unsafe pollution, one that no one -- not the American public, not the states, not even most automakers -- really wants, and one that's being presented to the public under the false and easily discredited guise of improving public safety", the statement continued. As an alternative, the Trump administration proposes holding the standards at those set to take effect in 2020.

After months of discussion and drafts, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration formally unveiled their plan to rewrite those rules and replace them with ones so lax even automakers are wary.

California is expected to challenge the withdrawal of the waiver in court. Those states argue the Clean Air Act empowers them to keep the Obama-era fuel economy standards in place in their markets.

Schwarzenegger added that he's "sick and exhausted of these fake conservatives who believe in states' rights to make their own policies - as long as state policy is to pollute more".

Environmental groups who support the gas mileage standards that aimed to reduce air pollution slammed the proposal. However, the Trump administration's EPA proposal would require California to abide by federal rules, rather than set its own.

The greatest increase in greenhouse gas emissions would happen in the 2030s because electric cars will grow significantly by the 2040s, the Energy Innovation analysis found. "These arguments are not new. This proposed rollback puts all that at risk". The federal government has issued a waiver for years so that California can set higher mileage standards than the rest of the country.

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

Schwarzenegger has been environmentally active for years. Many independent experts are skeptical of these claims.

Environmental groups in ME, which is among the states that adopted California's tougher emissions requirements for new cars, and around the country quickly denounced the widely anticipated move.

Trump proposes capping fuel economy standards at 2020 level