The change would mean that cars and light-duty trucks will only have to average about 37 mpg (miles per gallon) by 2026, instead of the nearly 50 planned by the Obama administration, although the industry didn't seek such drastic changes to the standards.
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". The rollback of this country's most important tool for fighting climate change will undo years of government efforts to reduce the number of Americans' trips to the gas station and cut unhealthy, climate-changing tailpipe emissions.
Department of Transportation Secretary, Elaine L. Chao, praised the proposed rule, stating, "More realistic standards will promote a healthy economy by bringing newer, safer, cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles to USA roads and we look forward to receiving input from the public".
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.
The administration also said it wants to revoke an authority granted to California under the half-century-old Clean Air Act to set its own, tougher mileage standards.
The EPA under President Barack Obama had proposed mileage standards that gradually would become tougher, rising to 36 miles per gallon in 2025, 10 mpg higher than the current requirement. "It could save up to a thousand lives annually by reducing these barriers that prevent consumers from getting into newer, safer cars".
Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao also said the new rule creates more "realistic standards" that will bring "newer, safer, cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles" to the roads.
The Trump administration's proposal for freezing USA mileage standards estimates that its action could cost tens of thousands of US auto jobs. Experts have disputed the accuracy of the Trump administration's new analysis.
Shifting to a more relaxed standard would have "negligible environmental impacts on air quality", the agencies said in their proposal.
Republican lawmakers cheered the proposal. He says rolling back Obama standards will also reduce the cost of cars. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
Due to this, the Trump Administration has announced a plan to freeze fuel efficiency requirements through 2026.
"The fundamental question associated with this mandate is clear: who should decide what types of cars consumers should buy, consumers themselves or bureaucrats in Sacramento or Washington?" he asked.
"They left open the possibility of selecting another option entirely - including increasing mile-per-gallon standards by some level between 2021 and 2026 - at the end of a public comment period to last 60 days".
But Moore says consumers will have plenty of choices.
California, which has long had a waiver from the Clean Air Act to set its own standards, also signed off on the rule.
SIMON MUI: The automakers are going to be facing years of uncertainty, right? Automakers have called that a worst-case scenario. California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) asserted that "California will fight this stupidity in every conceivable way possible", and former Obama administration climate change staffer Jody Freeman wrote that the rule "could be the most significant setback for American progress on climate change so far under President Trump".
For Trump to now destroy a law first enacted at the request of Ronald Reagan five decades ago is a betrayal and an assault on the health of Americans everywhere. In May, California and 16 other states filed a preemptive lawsuit arguing the rollback would be illegal.
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 Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a main industry group, said Thursday that the Trump proposal means it's time for negotiations to begin. Acting EPA chief Andrew Wheeler said on Wednesday he would welcome a deal between the industry and states. Auto manufacturers also have a big stake in this fight, as they're anxious about having to comply with different standards in multiple states.