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Trump administration proposes freeze on auto emissions standards: Read the proposal

August 2, 2018

Trump administration proposes freeze on auto emissions standards: Read the proposal

WASHINGTON, D.C. - With the goal of reducing the costs of new cars and improving safety by letting more people buy new vehicles, the Trump administration on Thursday proposed a freeze on fuel-efficiency standards after 2020.

Officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation said the improvements required by the old old standards would make new cars too pricey for many American families, and that freezing them in 2020 would allow more people to buy safer, more fuel efficient cars.

They said the old standards would add $2,340 to the cost of owning a new car, and giving more people to access less expensive, safer new cars would result in 12,000 fewer vehicle fatalities every year.

We @NHTSAgov @EPA 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. Read our proposal: https://t.co/2M5RjR8cvb pic.twitter.com/MeLuCTMYsD— Acting Administrator Wheeler (@EPAAWheeler) August 2, 2018

EPA Assistant Administrator Bill Wehrum told reporters his agency and the transportation department will accept comments on the proposal for several months and make a final decision on the matter later this year, or early next year.

“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 a statement from EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. ” More realistic standards can save lives while continuing to improve the environment. We value the public’s input as we engage in this process in an open, transparent manner.”

“There are compelling reasons for a new rulemaking on fuel economy standards for 2021-2026,” said Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao. “More realistic standards will promote a healthy economy by bringing newer, safer, cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles to U.S. roads, and we look forward to receiving input from the public.” 

Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown said the Trump administration’s action would have detrimental effects on the auto industry, as it would add uncertainty to the marketplace, would be bad for the the environment, and harm national security as higher gas consumption would increase reliance on foreign oil. He also said that innovations created by new antipollution technology have created new auto industry jobs.

“It is a myth that you either have good environmental policy or good jobs,” said Brown.  “Everyone wins because of new technology.”

Environmental groups said the proposal - if implemented - would increase carbon pollution from transportation, the largest source of emissions in the United States, and result in consumers paying more for gasoline while putting more Americans’ health at risk. 

Freezing the fuel economy standards at 2020 levels would increase global warming emissions by 2.2 million metric tons. We need to move forward & significantly reduce global warming emissions, not backward. The NPRM to be released goes the wrong way on clean cars.— Environment America (@EnvAm) August 1, 2018

 

Natural Resources Defense Counsel president Rhea Suh maintained the Trump administration “is driving our auto future in reverse.” Her group threatened a lawsuit, calling the proposal a giveaway to “big oil” and arguing the auto industry ha shown it can comply with tougher standards.

“The clean car standards are already saving our families billions at the pump, supporting nearly 300,000 American jobs, and cleaning up dangerous tailpipe pollution,” said a statement from Suh. “We need to speed up that progress, not slide backward. Let’s keep our eyes on the road–and not let Trump and his dirty deputies run us into the ditch.”

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