Administration's 'own numbers don't even support' fuel-efficiency proposal

A brazen attack on America's future Trump's fuel-efficiency standard rollback will hurt the economy and environment

A brazen attack on America's future Trump's fuel-efficiency standard rollback will hurt the economy and environment

California and 18 other USA states promised on Thursday to fight a Trump administration proposal to freeze fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks and force states into line, arguing the United States has an obligation to protect the environment for future generations. "The data and science does not back up what they are trying to do, which is to eviscerate these California standards". California received the exemption - the only state to do so - decades ago because it was already developing its own standards when federal rules were being written.

"Federal rules to limit tailpipe pollution and improve fuel economy are our best strategy to reduce carbon pollution, improve air quality, and save drivers money on gas", the statement said. The administration's assertion that lighter, more fuel efficient cars are more risky has been disputed by transport experts.

After the EPA announced in April that it intends to remove the Obama-era mileage standard, California and 16 other states sued the EPA to fight the Trump rule change. Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said this week that he would like to "come up with a 50-state solution that does not necessitate pre-empting California".

The Environmental Protection Agency said in a statement that relaxing mileage standards in the years ahead would give "the American people greater access to safer, more affordable vehicles that are cleaner for the environment".

The rollback has provoked outcry from environmental and health groups, as well as states who are pushing for cleaner vehicle fleets.

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The administration also said it wants to revoke an authority granted to California under the half-century-old Clean Air Act to set its own, tougher mileage standards.

Becerra said he was already preparing to sue the Trump administration and would be joined by 18 other state attorneys general, including Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and NY. "Automakers support continued improvements in fuel economy and flexibilities that incentivize advanced technologies while balancing priorities like affordability, safety, jobs and the environment".

The prospect of an extended legal fight has discomfited automakers, who had asked the administration to relax the Obama-era rules but don't want to see the US market split in two, with different models of cars required in blue and red states.

According to Trump administration estimates, the Obama fuel efficiency standards would raise the price of vehicles by an average of $2,340.

The administration wants to freeze a rule mandating that automakers work to make cars substantially more fuel efficient.

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The Union of Concerned Scientists said the rollback is "completely unacceptable". Trump's proposal lowers that to around 35 mpg by the year 2020.

"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.

"We'll use every tool available to block the Trump administration's U-turn on fuel efficiency", the Massachusetts Democrat said, adding later, "We won't stop until this misguided change is put in the rearview mirror".

The administration must gather feedback on the proposal before it is finalized, a process that could take months and that could be further delayed by lawsuits. "This is a demolition, and there's no scientific or technological justification for it".

Alson said, according to his own calculations, the savings for someone buying a new auto with a loan was $158 a month, but the report acknowledges that consumers would "purchase somewhat more fuel", about five gallons a month during the first year of owning a vehicle. This unnecessary and hidden tax has burdened American consumers since the 1970s.

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