Trump administration announces plans to freeze Obama-era fuel-efficiency requirements

Make Cars Great Again

Make Cars Great Again

The administration said the freeze would boost USA oil consumption by about 500,000 barrels of oil a day by the 2030s, and argued it would prevent up to 1,000 traffic fatalities per year by reducing the price of new vehicles and so prompting people to buy newer, safer vehicles more quickly. "Not only does fuel savings cover the cost of fuel efficient technology, but it also covers all of the other costs that go into automakers annual price increases, including new safety features".

The Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards require automakers' cars to average about 50 miles per gallon by 2025.

Reforming Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards is a huge tax cut for American auto buyers, up to a $7,200 per vehicle.

But in a statement published on The Wall Street Journal's website Thursday, Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao and acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said that the Obama-era standards would "impose significant costs on American consumers and eliminate jobs". Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports, said consumers could save between $3,200 per auto and $4,800 per truck over the life of the vehicle under that standard, and that they would save even more if gas prices go up. The administration also believes the change will shave about 7 or 8 percent off the cost of a new vehicle in the coming years, a savings of around $2,300. Their proposed rule calls for replacing an aggressive 2012 rule for increasing fuel efficiency in cars and light trucks from 2022 through 2025.

As anticipated, the proposal essentially rolls back Obama-era regulations that were meant to force automakers to improve their vehicles' efficiency.

Easing requirements that cars be more fuel efficient should make them both cheaper and safer, getting vehicles with the latest safety developments in the hands of consumers, officials said. The result, opponents say, will be dirtier air and more pollution-related illness and death.

Months after they pre-emptively sued to block anticipated efforts by the Environmental Protection Agency to roll back mileage regulations, Democratic attorneys general vowed to continue their fight in the courts.

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

President Donald Trump listens as Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., speaks at a rally in Nashville, Tenn. on May 29, 2018.

"The clean vehicle standards are already saving our families billions at the pump, supporting almost 300,000 American jobs, and cleaning up unsafe tailpipe pollution", said Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Transportation experts question the reasoning behind the proposal. The Obama administration estimated that the increased standards would save 12bn barrels of oil. They claimed the reduced standards would make new cars more affordable. At least twelve other states and the District of Columbia follow California's rules. The affordability argument also ignores thousands of dollars of saving in fuel costs for each driver over the life of a auto, opponents of the rollbacks said. "But if not, I'd remind them that California has won this battle before". Also, and manufacturers are talking about kind of having two different standards.

In 2012, when the standards were first adopted, cars were about 50 per cent of new-vehicle sales.

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