States vow to fight Trump administration on fuel-economy freeze

Trump proposes car-mileage rollback states sue in protest

The proposal argues that forcing automakers to reach a fleet-wide average of 51.4 miles per gallon by 2025, as the Obama administration required, would make vehicles more expensive and encourage people to stick to driving older, less-safe cars and trucks.

California Gov. Jerry Brown said his state "will fight this stupidity in every conceivable way possible".

The Trump administration has moved to weaken United States vehicle emissions standards and has set up a major confrontation with California by scrapping its ability to enact stricter pollution standards and mandate the sale of electric cars.

Signalling what is likely to be the start of a protracted legal battle, some 19 states and Washington DC have announced they intend to sue to the administration over the move.

Becerra said he was already preparing to sue the Trump administration and would be joined by 18 other state attorneys general, including Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and NY. All have Democratic attorneys general.

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.

As anticipated, the proposal essentially rolls back Obama-era regulations that were meant to force automakers to improve their vehicles' efficiency. The Obama-era standard mandated that automobiles sold by auto companies have to reach 50 miles per gallon (MPG) by 2025.

"EPA is proposing to withdraw the waiver granted to California in 2013 for the GHG [Greenhouse Gas] and ZEV [Zero Emissions Vehicles] requirements of its Advanced Clean Cars program", the proposal says.

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Officials said the aim of the new plan is to help with hurdles automakers face in producing fuel-efficient vehicles, which, on average, cost consumers $35,000 more.

"If the President thinks he can win this fight, he's out of his mind".

Citing safety, the Trump administration on Thursday proposed rolling back car-mileage standards, backing away from years of government efforts to cut Americans' trips to the gas station and reduce unhealthy, climate-changing tailpipe emissions.

"The law requires fuel economy standards in order to save fuel, and yet this proposal does just the exact opposite", said Shannon Baker-Branstetter, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports. The rule says there would not be an increase in smog, but the Union of Concerned Scientists said the amount of additional pollution would be equivalent to greenhouse gas emissions from 43 coal-fired power plants. "It's a boon for big oil that ordinary Americans will pay for with their health and their wallets".

"For 48 years - since one of my heroes, then-governor Ronald Reagan, requested it- California has had a waiver from the federal government to clean our own air", Schwarzenegger said in a statement released on Twitter. Toyota Motor Corp would save $34 billion and Volkswagen AG $20 billion.

In addition to new fuel economy standards, the EPA is expected to revoke California's right to impose its own emissions standards under the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

"This has to be absolutely one of the most harmful and dumbest actions that the EPA has taken", said Healey of MA, one of the attorneys general from 19 states and the District of Columbia objecting to the change.

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