How new fuel standards will impact California vehicles

The new Trump administration proposal to freeze rules to build more fuel-efficient cars-and revoke California's long-standing right to set stronger standards for clean cars-would cost the American economy $457 billion by 2050, according to an analysis from the nonprofit Energy Innovation. "We urge 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".

In a 978-page document (pdf) released on August 2, the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are also proposing to retract a waiver issued to California in 2013, which enabled the state to set its own stricter emissions standards.

The 19 states, and Washington D.C, announced what is likely to be a legal showdown over the proposal.

"We strongly oppose the Trump administration plan to roll back these clean-car standards, and we're going to fight to do that", Shapiro said in a conference call with the attorneys general of California, Xavier Becerra, and Massachusetts, Maura Healey.

Environmental groups in ME, which is among the states that adopted California's tougher emissions requirements for new cars, and around the country quickly denounced the widely anticipated move. "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 lawsuit filed in May in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia alleged the plan to dump the mileage standards violated the federal Clean Air Act and didn't follow the agency's own regulations.

Healey, the attorney general for MA, said: "This absolutely has to be one of the most harmful and dumbest actions the EPA has taken".

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Schwarzenegger and Trump have repeatedly criticized each other over the years, including during Trump's presidency.

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The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation decided those standards were unreasonable for economic and safety reasons and will freeze the standards at the 2020 level.

One of the administration's arguments against the 2012 rule is that the cheapest ways for auto makers to achieve fuel efficiency already have been implemented.

"By 2030, the pollution equivalent of this rollback will be like firing up 30 coal power plants", Paul Cort, an attorney at the advocacy group Earthjustice, said in a statement. Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger pointed out that it was Ronald Reagan who sought out California's right to regulate emissions.

Simon Mui, a senior scientist at the National Resources Defense Council, a group that opposes the change to the fuel standards, calculates that the change will have the net effect of reducing the average real world fuel economy of American automobiles by about 8 miles per gallon in 2025 relative to what it would be if Obama era standards were kept in place.

Environmental and cost impacts of freezing the rules are said to be minimal.

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