Trump administration to roll back fuel efficiency standards

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The Trump administration announced Tuesday it is replacing Obama-era fuel efficiency standards with a plan that calls for significantly lower annual increases — performing what it called “the largest deregulatory initiative of this administration”.

The opponents of the move say that it will have huge environmental consequences and weaken former President Barack Obama‘s plan to combat the climate crisis.

The finalized rule, prepared by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation, was revealed Tuesday.

The rule calls for fuel economy and emission standards to boost by 1.5% yearly, instead of the approximately 5% boost in the 2012 rule. According to the rule, the standards will boost to 40.4 miles per gallon by vehicle model year 2026, about 6 miles each gallon fewer compared to the 2012 rule.

The administration’s original proposal would have frozen the standards.

The modification “reflects the realities of today’s markets,” the administration stated, such as more interest in SUVs over smaller vehicles and automakers’ current use of credits to fulfil their targets.

“Our final rule puts in place a sensible one national program that strikes the right regulatory balance that safeguards our environment, and sets reasonable targets for the auto industry,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler stated. “This rule supports our economy, and the safety of American families.”

Obama commented on Tuesday to the EPA’s rollback of his administration’s fuel economy standards, prompting Americans to “demand better of our government at every level”.

“We’ve seen all too terribly the consequences of those who denied warnings of a pandemic,” Obama wrote on Twitter. “We can’t afford any more consequences of climate denial. All of us, especially young people, have to demand better of our government at every level and vote this fall.”

The administration stated Tuesday that it believes the rule will slash the average cost of a new car by $1,000, resulting in more Americans replacing their older automobiles with newer ones that have more advanced safety features. That will result in fewer highway fatalities, it stated.

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