EPA Proposes To Freeze Fuel Economy Standards At 37 MPG

Nineteen US states have announced plans to sue the Trump administration over its "reckless and illegal plan" to rollback Obama-era clean vehicle rules.

"EPA is proposing to withdraw the waiver granted to California in 2013 for the GHG [Greenhouse Gas] and ZEV [Zero Emissions Vehicles] requirements of its Advanced Clean Cars program", the proposal says. Meanwhile, California's strict fuel economy and emissions standards have caused financial losses for carmakers, which must raise prices on cars elsewhere to make up for the loss, the proposal states.

In Thursday's proposal, the Trump administration argues that its proposed freeze will have a "negligible" impact on air quality, and boost the earth's temperature by 3/1000th of one degree Celsius by 2100.

The administration's rule aims to preempt California's Clean Air Act (CAA) waiver and argues that it should be pulled entirely.

Deputy Administrator of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration Heidi King said the average vehicle on the road in the U.S.is 12 years old and that the proposed rule would mean fewer accidents and injuries.

"The earth is not flat, and climate change is real", California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said, as he connected global warming to the deadly wildfires burning out of control throughout the state.

The Environmental Protection Agency proposed a set of new fuel economy and emissions standards on August 2, estimated to result in 12,700 fewer traffic deaths, make passenger cars more affordable, and give automakers more freedom to create cars based on consumer preference rather than government mandate.

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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 states that have adopted California's emission rules together make up about one third of the US auto market. The administration also says that its preferred plan for fuel economy will reduce society-wide spending by $502 billion for vehicles built between 1975 and 2029.

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

He said in a statement that the organization would challenge the administration's action "in the court of public opinion and the court of law".

"Freezing or weakening these standards puts the health of our children, seniors, and all communities at risk, and increases the rising costs of climate change for our states", a joint statement said.

Pollution from cars, trucks and other on-road vehicles is the California's single-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, according to state data. Yet for President Donald Trump, who's prioritized eliminating regulations, the auto rules represent a grand prize. They called the plan illegal, saying it would force motorists to pay more for gas and create more air pollution.

Under the current standards, set in a deal with automakers in 2012, cars were supposed to get significantly cleaner between 2022 and 2025, ending up at an average of around 54 miles per gallon and saving drivers gas costs and cutting pollution. "The data and science does not back up what they are trying to do, which is to eviscerate these California standards". The 10 other states and the District of Columbia that have adopted the tougher California guidelines would also be impacted by the White House move. Now they're only about one-third, with less-efficient trucks and SUVS making up the rest.

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