President Donald Trump’s administration continued efforts to undo Barack Obama’s legacy on Thursday by announcing a plan scrap fuel economy standards enacted under the former president.
A proposal outlined by the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency would eliminate Obama-era requirements that automobile manufacturers increase fuel efficiency to an average of about 50 miles per gallon by 2026.
The new plan would freeze the fuel efficiency requirements at 2020 levels, although there are conflicting reports regarding the miles per gallon that would be required under the Trump administration’s proposal.
Members of the Trump administration argued the plan would save lives by keeping vehicle prices lower and allowing more Americans to by newer, safer cars.
Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler claimed the administration is delivering on Trump’s promise to address and fix the current fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards.
“Our proposal aims to strike the right regulatory balance based on the most recent information and create a 50-state solution that will enable more Americans to afford newer, safer vehicles that pollute less,” Wheeler said.
“More realistic standards can save lives while continuing to improve the environment,” he added. “We value the public’s input as we engage in this process in an open, transparent manner.”
The NHTSA and EPA said the public will have 60 days to provide feedback to ensure all potential impacts concerning the proposal are fully considered.
The Trump administration also said it will seek to strip California of a special exemption allowing the state to set its own, more stringent emissions standards, drawing harsh criticism from California lawmakers.
In a statement, Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., declared Californians would not give up their right to clean air to Trump without a fight.
“The fuel economy standards are reducing harmful emissions, saving families billions at the pump and driving technological innovations that are keeping the U.S. auto industry competitive,” Feinstein said. “President Trump wants to roll back that progress. We’re not going to let him.”
California Attorney General Becerra also called the Trump administration’s proposal a “brazen and unlawful attack” on the nation’s Clean Car Standards.
“The California Department of Justice will use every legal tool at its disposal to defend today’s national standards and reaffirm the science behind them,” said Becerra.
California, 16 other states, and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit against the EPA in May in anticipation of the administration’s plan.
by RTTNews Staff Writer
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