Trump Administration Looks to Solidify Rollback of Fuel Economy Regulations
According to a report by The Detroit News, the Trump administration is moving forward with its plans of introducing a rollback of fuel economy regulations that were put into place by the Obama administration. The outlet states that the White House Office of Management and Budget has received a final version of the administration's plan to review. The battle to rollback fuel economy regulations has been a war the Trump administration has been fighting since President Donald Trump took office.
Official Details Are Still Up In The Air
While details of the final version of the administration's plans haven't been made public yet, The Detroit News claims that the required annual fleetwide average mpg increase for automakers will shrink from 5 percent to 1.5 percent for vehicles from model years 2021 to 2026. The plan also includes the Trump administration's proposition to take away California's ability to set its own emissions regulations. That little caveat was introduced by the administration last September.
Taking a little stroll down memory lane reveals that fuel economy regulations has been something the Trump administration has been looking to roll back for years. Initially, the administration proposed freezing fuel economy regulations at 2020 levels until 2026 for automakers. The newly proposed 1.5 percent annual increase isn't nearly as strict as the 5 percent put into place by President Barack Obama, but is far better than a freeze.
Controversy with fuel economy regulations, automakers, and lawmakers erupted last November. Before the end of 2019, California and 13 other states sued the government over the rollback in regulations. Automakers took things into their own hands by reaching an agreement with California to raise fuel economy regulations on their own accord. BMW, Volkswagen, Ford, and Honda all reached an agreement with the state to improve fleet-wide fuel economy to 50 mpg by 2026.
Differing Opinions On Regulations
Adding more fuel to the flames, General Motors, the Association of Global Automakers, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and Toyota took sides with the Trump administration in the hopes that the federal government would set a single mandate for the country to follow. The latest plan is seen as a way to appease all of the parties included.
"While the draft will not become public until OMB completes the review and the rule is published, EPA and NHTSA firmly believe this rule will benefit all Americans by improving the U.S. fleet's fuel economy, reducing air pollution, helping make new vehicles more affordable for all Americans," said the NHTSA in a statement.
Unfortunately, Luke Tonachel, director of clean vehicles and fuels at the Natural Resources Defense Council, is criticizing the Trump administration's plans to go through with the rollback. "The Trump administration keeps trying to manufacture a reason to gut these commonsense, existing tailpipe standards – but there isn't one," Tonachel told the outlet. Tonachel went on to claim that the new plan would likely "result in a dramatic rollback, with huge increases in pollution, massive job losses and billions of dollars in added costs to consumers."
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