Trump administration plans to lower vehicle emissions standards

Mindy Sparks
August 2, 2018

In the draft proposal published today by the EPA and the Transportation Department, the Trump administration says that the amendments are being made because current standards are "no longer appropriate and reasonable". Those rules were to take effect after 2020. The Trump administration's proposal would cut off the average CAFE increases in 2020, when automakers will have to produce cars that get an average of 43.7 miles per gallon. "We have been steadily increasing the standards... for nearly a decade", said EPA Assistant Administrator Bill Wehrum on a call with reporters Thursday.

But private transportation experts say there are so many factors involved that the 1,000 lives saved figure is questionable.

Arnold Schwarzenegger slammed President Trump as "out of his mind" on Thursday for wanting to freeze fuel emission standards and strip the state of the ability to set its own regulations to limit greenhouse gasses. "More realistic standards will promote a healthy economy by bringing newer, safer, cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles to USA roads and we look forward to receiving input from the public".

The EPA and DOT will now give the public 60 days to provide comment and feedback on the rules before they are potentially introduced as law.

Trump administration wants to freeze Obama-era requirements that force automakers to manufacture more fuel-efficient vehicles. The proposal blames the continued increasing price of new cars, in part, on keeping up with stricter emissions rules, saying it will add an average of $2,430 to the price of new vehicles. "Some data conclude that almost half of consumers who purchase an electric auto do not buy another because of challenges with range and recharge times".

Bill Wehrum, assistant administrator at the EPA, told reporters in a conference call on Thursday that many things had changed, including a drop in fuel prices, since the efficiency rules were last set six years ago.

"For 48 years - since one of my heroes, then-governor Ronald Reagan, requested it- California has had a waiver from the federal government to clean our own air", Schwarzenegger said in a statement released on Twitter. Brown said. "Under his reckless scheme, motorists will pay more at the pump, get worse gas mileage and breathe dirtier air".

California and 16 other states filed suit over the fuel efficiency standards in May, anticipating the new regulation.

Transport has become the largest sector source of greenhouse gas emissions in the USA, as cheap fuel has encouraged Americans to buy larger vehicles such as SUVs.

"It's my goal and this administration's goal to come up with a 50-state solution, and we want to have a 50-state solution that does not necessitate preempting California". The administration's assertion that lighter, more fuel efficient cars are more unsafe has been disputed by transport experts.

Myron Ebell, director of Competitive Enterprise Institute's Center for Energy and Environment, called the action "good news for consumers".

He said gas prices are "at historically low levels and that changes driving habits, that changes the kind of cars and trucks that people want to buy, it changes what is possible in terms of vehicle fuel efficiency". "It might even cause auto prices to stop increasing so rapidly". CAFE standards have failed on every front.

Trump's decision to challenge California's authority to regulate vehicle emissions upends decades of federal policy that allowed the most populous USA state to combat air pollution that particularly afflicts Los Angeles.

Tea Party Patriots President Jenny Beth Martin praised the administration's move, saying the free market should determine what types of cars are available.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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