Trump plans to overturn Obama-era fuel economy rules or increase emissions during climate crisis

U.S. President Donald Trump is about to fulfill one of his long-held goals of his presidency: overturn obama-era fuel economy standards that make new cars more fuel-efficient and greener,media reported. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency announced a new rule Tuesday that would replace the Obama-era fuel economy rules that would increase pollution and the world is plagued by a respiratory virus pandemic and a climate crisis.

Trump plans to overturn Obama-era fuel economy rules or increase emissions during climate crisis

Under the new rules, automakers must now reduce fuel efficiency by reducing the average fuel efficiency of a gallon of gasoline from 5 percent in 2021-2026 to 1.5 percent, eventually averaging about 40 miles per gallon. Under previous rules, automakers would have to increase their average fuel economy by 5 percent, with a goal of 54 miles per gallon by 2026.

As the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) points out, according to the EPA’s own data, Obama-era standards have helped reduce carbon dioxide emissions by a billion tons and saved drivers $86 billion in fuel costs. At the same time, the new standards are expected to release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, increase gasoline consumption by about 80 billion gallons and increase oil consumption by 2 billion barrels, all at a time when transportation has become the world’s main source of carbon dioxide emissions.

“We are looking at the serious consequences of President Donald Trump’s weakening of our nation’s health and safety standards,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a call with reporters Tuesday. It is clear that his decline in many important regulations that protect our health and the environment is having real consequences. “

The Trump administration’s argument in favor of overturning the rule is essentially this: New cars become more fuel-efficient because they are more fuel efficient, forcing more people to either buy used cars or stick to existing ones. Because older cars don’t have the modern safety features of new cars, they are less safe. Lowering fuel economy standards will reduce up-front costs for new cars by about $1,000, meaning more people will be able to buy newer, safer cars. This is a flawed argument for a variety of reasons. On the one hand, the government has largely ignored the fact that average U.S. car prices have risen, because automakers are now so keen to sell more expensive (and, crucially, more profitable) SUVs and trucks that many of them have actually removed cars entirely from their lineups.

Trump plans to overturn Obama-era fuel economy rules or increase emissions during climate crisis

While most consumers may prefer cheap pricing, some experts believe the new rules will ultimately cost them more for the life of these cars. A recent analysis by Consumer Reports found that even if gasoline prices fall to $1.50 a gallon and stay at that level for the next 30 years, overturning the rules “will still increase the total cost of new car ownership for consumers.” “

In addition, it seems unlikely that the lower cost of fuel economy technologies that meet the new standards will be passed on to consumers in the form of a $1,000 savings. Asked about the issue on a conference call with reporters, James Owens, ACTing administrator of NHTSA, said that basically, automakers should use extra leeway to compete on price. “We have the power to compete in our country, and ultimately, American families will make purchasing decisions based on many different factors, and our automakers will continue, and we want to continue to compete for these sales,” he said. “

The Trump administration has also failed to take into account the fact that pushing more consumers into these vehicles will directly increase pedestrian risk, since new cars are now often larger. From the start, Mr. Trump seems to have tried to lower Obama-era standards based on fragile and misleading arguments. For example, when the EPA first declared in April 2018 that Obama-era standards were too radical, it built that argument based on the auto industry lobbyist argument and two-year historical data of the time.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler tweeted that the new rules would save lives, reduce pollution and deliver significant benefits to the U.S. economy. In each case, he was wrong. Becerra said Tuesday. “We’re going to debunk this,” he said. “

The new rules announced Tuesday by NHTSA and EPA are not as strict as Mr. Trump initially wanted. When the Trump EPA releases the first official proposed version of the rule in 2018, it proposes to freeze the planned year-on-year increase in fuel economy to 2020 levels, which would limit the required growth to 37 miles per gallon.

Even when automakers began lobbying Mr. Trump to lower standards in the days after he took office, even if they were completely deadlocked. Since then, they have split up in the alliance. Volkswagen, Ford, Honda and BMW struck deals with California last year, pledging to increase average fuel economy by 3.7 percent year-on-year, while General Motors, Toyota and Fiat Chrysler all expressed support for the Trump administration while opposing California’s self-imposed emissions standards, which have been followed by about a dozen other states.

Now, overturning the rules could face a long-term challenge in court for states and environmental groups. “There’s no point in keeping the standard for clean cars. This will damage the air we breathe, hinder progress in responding to the climate crisis, and increase driving costs,” Gina McCarthy, a former head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said in a statement. “I want automakers to have a better understanding of this illegal, unwise and dangerous overthrow.” The Clean Cars program helped them rebound from the 2008 financial crisis and achieve record sales. They should fight back with us. We will see the Trump administration in court. “

Trump plans to overturn Obama-era fuel economy rules or increase emissions during climate crisis