Trump Administration Rolls Back Plans to Raise Automotive Fuel Economy Standards

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August 2, 2018—The Trump administration on Thursday revealed its plan to roll back Obama-era standards meant to cut emissions from tailpipes and boost fuel efficiency in cars and trucks sold in the U.S. in the coming years, CNBC reports.

The administration also confirmed it will seek to strip California of its special authority to set its own fuel economy levels for autos, escalating a legal battle with more than a dozen states. After the announcement, 19 states and Washington D.C. said they intended to sue over the revision.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and Environmental Protection Agency say they intend to reverse ambitious targets for fuel economy and emissions reductions, which the agencies developed under President Barack Obama. Instead of requiring automakers to steadily increase the average fuel efficiency of passenger vehicles through 2025 as previously planned, the Trump administration would freeze those levels after 2020.

That would mean the fleet of cars and light-duty trucks that automakers release each year will only have to average about 37 mpg by 2026, rather than targets near 50 mpg envisioned by the Obama administration. Those fleets would also be allowed to emit more greenhouse gases for each mile driven under the Trump plan.

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