Obama's Tougher Gas Mileage Rules May Be Going Away

EPA will re-examine standards put in place at 11th hour
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2017 11:13 AM CDT
Trump Moves to Loosen Obama's Fuel Economy Rules
Chevrolet cars on a dealer lot in Pittsburgh.   (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

President Trump on Wednesday is making a move seen as good news for the auto industry and bad news for environmental advocates. In a visit to Detroit, the president will direct the EPA to re-examine fuel efficiency standards put in place by the Obama administration just before Trump took office, reports the Washington Post. Those standards would have required automakers to have a fleetwide average of more than 50mpg by 2025, meaning more electric and hybrid vehicles. “We’re going to pull back the EPA’s determination because we don’t think it’s right and we’re going to spend another year looking at the data in front of us,” says a White House official. The Trump administration thinks the Obama White House sped up a review and tried to rush the standards into place after the election. Automakers have said they're not feasible.

Trump, however, will keep a waiver in place that allows California to set tougher standards than are in place nationally, though that could change in 2018. The Los Angeles Times sees the possibility of a "legal brawl" between the state and the White House over the standards. California wants to stick with a goal of 54mpg by 2025, and about a dozen states have voluntarily decided to follow California's lead. Politico characterizes the Trump move as "yet another strike at his predecessor’s energy and climate agenda," noting that the EPA plans to ease rules on carbon emissions at power plants in the coming days. Automakers had pleaded with Trump during a meeting to revist the EPA rules, and Trump will make it official Wednesday while tying the decision to manufacturing jobs, reports the New York Times. (Read more EPA stories.)

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