Why Trump’s looser emission standards are mixed blessing for automakers

Why Trump’s looser emission standards are mixed blessing for automakers

"The earth is not flat and climate change is real", Becerra said. Transportation is the only sector where greenhouse gas emissions went up in 2016, the most recent data available.

The federal agencies have also referenced a "50-state program", calling into question California's authority to implement its own more strict emissions regulations.

"We are going to fight like hell to make sure what was proposed does not get enacted", said the panel's ranking member, Thomas R. Carper of Delaware.

The Natural Resources Council of ME said the changes will result in more harmful pollutants drifting into ME - which already has among the nation's highest asthma rates - and "adds insult to injury by also eliminating states' rights to set our own clean vehicle 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.

The Trump administration is arguing that the multiple standards complicate regulation.

Two former EPA mileage officials said the administration's proposal departed from years of findings on fuel efficiency, vehicle safety, exhaust emissions and costs.

The proposed rule acknowledges that it would result in a 2 percent to 3 percent increase in fuel consumption, the equivalent of about half a million barrels of oil per day, and a small increase in global average temperature and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

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Democrats hope to make any rollback of the emissions rules a key part of November's midterm elections, when they will try to regain control of one or both chambers of Congress. Republicans in states with links to the auto industry may counter that the administration is working to ensure automakers can make more profitable, larger vehicles, including fuel-thirsty pickups and SUVs.

California is expected to challenge the withdrawal of the waiver in court.

The proposal from the U.S. Transportation Department and Environmental Protection Agency would freeze fuel efficiency standards at 2020 levels through 2026, and require dramatically fewer electric vehicles as more people continue to drive gasoline-powered vehicles.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders dismissed concerns, pointing out that the standards are only a proposal and subject to a comment period.

"We are delivering on President Trump's promise to the American public that his administration would address and fix the current fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards", said Andrew Wheeler, the EPA's acting administrator. Even better news is the decision to take California out of the driver's seat for setting CAFE standards for the entire country. Critics said it would accelerate climate change and increase fuel prices. Those standards target a doubling of the fuel economy standards to 50 miles per gallon.

"Automakers support continued improvements in fuel economy and flexibilities that incentivize advanced technologies while balancing priorities like affordability, safety, jobs, and the environment", Gloria Bergquist, spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said in a statement. As a result, vehicle prices are soaring. Some of the states poised to join the suit, including Pennsylvania, adhere to California's stricter standards. "The data and science does not back up what they are trying to do, which is to eviscerate these California standards". That means a 43.7 mpg for passenger cars and 31.3 mpg for light trucks.

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