Trump Administration Reviewing Obama-era Fuel efficiency Rules on Auto Industry

Posted March 17, 2017

The governors of West Coast states, backed by mayors of major cities, are choking and wheezing at the Trump administration's decision to pull back on vehicle and truck fuel efficiency standards negotiated under the Obama administration. "Pruitt-Feb. -21-2016-Signed.pdf">asked EPA to conduct the review.

After meeting with auto CEOs and union leaders, Trump announced his plan at the American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti, Mich., outside Detroit.

The fuel efficiency standards, agreed to by automakers, were a condition of the taxpayer bailout of Chrysler and General Motors.

Trump knocked President Obama for an "11th hour executive action" putting stricter measures on federal fuel-efficiency standards.

In 2012, California, the most populous US state, agreed to harmonize its vehicle emissions rules with Obama administration rules that were aimed at doubling average fleetwide fuel efficiency to 54.5 mpg by 2025. For comparison, a new Toyota Camry now gets about 33 miles per gallon on freeways; less in cities.

"Nearly three in four vehicles sold globally today are subject to existing fuel efficiency standards", Jason Mathers of the Environmental Defense Fund wrote in a blog post Wednesday. It said he was creating an opportunity for federal and state officials to "reach a thoughtful and co-ordinated outcome predicated on the best and most current data".

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Automakers have long said the increasingly stringent standards through 2025 are costly and hard to meet given the surge in gas-guzzling truck sales. Electric auto innovator Tesla pushed for more stringent standards.

Regulations confirming standards for vehicle emissions in 2022-25, which were hurried through in the final fortnight of Barack Obama's administration, will instead be reviewed next year. Trump on Wednesday characterized the decision as an "11th-hour executive action".

'We're going to use the full economic powers of our country to protect our workers and protect our jobs, ' the president said, and to 'stop the jobs from leaving our country'. MI voters were key to Trump's victory. "We want the workers to rise too", he said.

Automakers have agreed that cheap gas and the rise in popularity of utility vehicles will make the current standards almost impossible to achieve. "I worry that a settlement approach would be less democratic than a full rulemaking to rescind the tailpipe standards".

Ontario wants to join a joint Quebec-California cap-and-trade program next year, and is vowing to continue co-operation at the "state level" on climate change initiatives, Gary Wheeler, a spokesman for the Ministry of the Environment said Thursday in an emailed statement. Those states won't be directly affected by Wednesday's announcement, although EPA administrator Scott Pruitt has hinted that his agency may separately attempt to challenge those states' rules.