States vow to press fight against Trump's car fuel rules

Dear America, chill out. New standards will save lives and not ruin the world

In this August 1, photo, cars on the Grand Central Parkway pass LaGuardia Airport in NY.

Since the Trump Administration announced its intent to roll back current fuel standards, Congressman DeSaulnier called for a national boycott of any company that does not commit to maintaining the Obama or CARB standards, urged California's public retirement funds to divest from companies that participate in the rollback, led a group of Democratic Members from California in echoing his call for public divestment, and called on automobile manufactures to clarify how they will respond to such a rollback. Since the proposal seeks to revoke states' rights to set their own pollution standards, the states that do so, led by California, are expected to sue the administration. Two former EPA mileage officials said the administration's proposal departed from years of findings on fuel efficiency, vehicle safety, exhaust emissions, and costs, reports the Weather Channel.

It's got "everything to do with just trying to turn over the fleet ... and get more clean and safe cars on the road", EPA assistant administrator Bill Wehrum said. If left alone, the Obama standards would continue to add an additional $2,340 to the average price of a new vehicle, according to Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao. The Trump proposal would freeze standards at 2020 levels when vehicles will be required to hit an average of 30 miles per gallon (48 kilometers per gallon) in real-world driving.

"The auto industry is leery of any proposal that stops progress toward better fuel economy for fear of a public backlash, even though it views the current rules as too stringent", point out Timothy Puko and Alejandro Lazo for the Wall Street Journal.

The group of attorneys general says in a statement that relaxing the nation's mileage standards will make Americans "breathe dirtier air and pay higher prices at the pumps". "Arnold Schwarzenegger, represented by then-California Attorney General Jerry Brown", Frank said.

The Trump administration formally unveiled new fuel economy rules this morning. The argument remained on the EPA's website Thursday.

Now, the Trump administration is proposing to flatline fuel economy and tailpipe carbon dioxide emission standards from 2021 to 2026, locking models produced during those years to standards pegged to 2020.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and Environmental Protection Agency said they would reverse the strategies they developed during Barack Obama's administration to reduce emissions.

CARB Chair Nichols, whose staff has the unenviable task of parsing the almost 1,000-page proposal, said her agency will indeed "figure out how the [Trump] Administration can possibly justify its absurd conclusion that weakening standards to allow dirtier, less efficient vehicles will actually save lives and money".

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But many experts say those are neither irrevocable nor serious steps that could show the country is honest about denuclearization. Reports last week suggested that a separate North Korean site used to develop missile engines was dismantling its facilities.

The administration said the proposed rollback would mean billions of dollars in regulatory savings for vehicle manufacturers.

An analysis by the Trump Administration, published jointly by the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSB), estimates that halting fuel efficiency targets at 2020 levels could save $500 billion in "societal costs", avoid thousands of highway fatalities, and save Americans approximately $2,340 on the cost of each new vehicle.

The debate on fuel economy comes amid friction between the Trump administration and the auto industry due to a Commerce Department review of whether to impose steep tariffs on auto imports.

At a May meeting in the White House, auto firms appealed to Trump to tap the brakes on the administration's aggressive rollback plan.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Thursday joined a bipartisan coalition of 20 states seeking to block the Trump Administration's reckless actions to allow downloadable and untraceable (so-called "ghost") guns to become available without restriction.

More than a dozen states follow California's standards, amounting to about 40 percent of the country's new-vehicle market.

"Freezing fuel efficiency standards at this critical juncture, when momentum is picking up and billions of dollars in investments are following suit, would cede the growing EV market to China and create unnecessary regulatory uncertainty for automakers in the United States".

It's costly for companies to design and build vehicles for California and states that follow its rules, and a different set for the rest of the country.

Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers: "With today's release of the Administration's proposals, it's time for substantive negotiations to begin".

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