Drivers were getting more expensive, less safe vehicles pushed on them thanks to Obama regulations.
The only objectionable feature of the Trump administration to liberate drivers is that he might not be radical enough. At this point, for all we know he might only slow down the Obama EPA schedule. We would be much better off if he would substantially reverse the requirements.
Of course, whatever changes the EPA makes will bring the Trump administration into another conflict with California.
The Tribune Washington Bureau reports, “Trump administration girds for war with California over fuel economy.”
The Trump administration is speeding toward all-out war with California over fuel economy rules for cars and SUVs, proposing to revoke the state’s long-standing authority to enforce its own tough rules on tailpipe emissions.
The move forms a key part of a proposal by Trump’s environmental and transportation agencies to roll back the nation’s fuel economy standards. The agencies plan to submit the proposal to the White House for review within days.
The plan would freeze fuel economy targets at the levels required for vehicles sold in 2020, and leave those in place through 2026, according to federal officials who have reviewed it. That would mark a dramatic retreat from existing law, which aimed to get the nation’s fleet of cars and light trucks to an average fuel economy of 55 miles per gallon by 2025. Instead of average vehicle fuel economy ratcheting up to that level, it would stall out at 42 miles per gallon.
That would constitute the single biggest step the administration has taken to undermine efforts to combat climate change.[…]
As a result, the steady increase in fuel mileage standards championed by the Obama administration in partnership with California represented the most powerful action the U.S. has taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The biggest gains have been projected to happen in the years that the Trump administration plan would target.
The plan from the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration remains a draft, and White House officials could decide to back away from a direct fight with California and like-minded states.
Within the administration, officials have disagreed about how far and how quickly to push changes in fuel economy rules, according to officials familiar with the discussions. Some officials attuned to the concerns of the auto industry have warned against a proposal that overreaches and could lead to years of litigation and uncertainty. Others, aligned with EPA chief Scott Pruitt, have argued for a more aggressive push.
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