California fights back against EPA proposals on vehicles

California fights back against EPA proposals on vehicles

California fights back against EPA proposals on vehicles

Trump's decision to challenge California's authority to regulate vehicle emissions upends decades of federal policy that allowed the most populous and richest USA state to combat air pollution that particularly afflicts Los Angeles.

"The earth is not flat, and climate change is real", California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said, as he connected global warming to the deadly wildfires burning out of control throughout the state.

Instead of requiring carmakers to steadily increase the fuel efficiency of their vehicles by 2025, Trump wants to freeze those levels after 2020.

The proposed change, halting further improvement requirements, stakes its case on consumer choice and on highway safety claims challenged by many transportation experts.

If enacted, this proposal will cost consumers billions of dollars in additional gasoline to run less efficient cars and light-duty trucks.

They also said the policy shift would lead to fewer highway deaths by enabling more consumers to afford new vehicles that are safer than those being traded in.

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.

The 19 states, and Washington D.C, announced they would sue to halt the proposed rollback, touching off what will likely be a heated legal showdown, possibly making it to the Supreme Court.

"The Trump administration just proposed rolling back limits on vehicle pollution".

On April 13, 2018, however, the Trump Administration took the first step toward dismantling the national program when it issued a revised final determination that alleged the federal greenhouse gas standards for model year 2022-2025 vehicles were no longer appropriate.

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While the chief executives of auto companies previous year asked Trump to loosen the Obama-era rules, they have since asked him not to pull them as far back as he has sought to do in Thursday's proposal.

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.

"They don't offer any meaningful example of what has changed so dramatically" to warrant the reversal, said Jeff Alson, who until this spring was a senior engineer in the EPA's transportation and air quality office.

The governor of California, Jerry Brown, said his state was prepared to fight. Those states argue the Clean Air Act empowers them to keep the Obama-era fuel economy standards in place in their markets. The argument remained on the EPA's website Thursday.

The administration said the freeze would boost US oil consumption by about 500,000 barrels of oil a day by the 2030s, and argued it would prevent up to 1,000 traffic fatalities per year by reducing the price of new vehicles and so prompting people to buy newer, safer vehicles more quickly.

In response to the EPA's formal proposal, the National Automobile Dealers Association said it was supportive of the "extensive work" that went into the decision to roll back Obama guidelines. The affordability argument ignores thousands of dollars of saving in fuel costs for each driver over the life of a vehicle, opponents of the rollbacks said. It would also move to end California's current power to set its own, higher standards.

To create national autonomy for emissions regulations, DOT is looking at whether or not it can block California's more stringent standards based on the grounds that a decades-old energy law holds that right for the federal agency, officials say.

A drawn-out legal battle over the standards could hurt the auto industry as it tries to plan for coming model years.

Their unease was reflected in a statement released by Gloria Bergquist, vice president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which urged negotiations between California and the federal government "to find a common sense solution that sets continued increases in vehicle efficiency standards while also meeting the needs of America's drivers". "Manufacturers" regulatory cost savings are estimated at $252.6 billion and new vehicle sales through 2029 will increase by a total of 1 million.

The Obama rules were meant to ensure progress made during the Democrat's presidency would extend beyond it. Automakers over the last decade have employed lighter materials and tweaked vehicle design to boost fuel efficiency, changes that have improved mileage on even the biggest United States gas guzzlers.

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