Trump proposes car-mileage rollback; states sue in protest

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The 54 mile per gallon rule might sound high, but when automakers factor in government credits and other loop holes, experts said that the average will be closer to 36 miles per gallon. Yet for President Donald Trump, who's prioritized eliminating regulations, the auto rules represent a grand prize.

A coalition of 17 states sued the EPA in May after it first announced plans to lower the fuel standards.

All of this could be somewhat mitigated if California can set stronger standards; at the moment, the state and federal standard are the same. The administration also says that its preferred plan for fuel economy will reduce society-wide spending by $502 billion for vehicles built between 1975 and 2029.

Representatives of the USA auto industry praised the administration's proposal, even as some automakers privately have expressed unease at the prospect of abrupt changes in fuel standards and having to meet different standards in different states.

They also propose to revoke California's authority under the Clean Air Act that has allowed the state to set rules more stringent than the federal ones limiting tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions as well as an electric-vehicle sales mandate. "Maine wants cleaner cars nationwide because upwind pollution matters so much to us, so we've done our part by using the best clean auto standards available". They said the average cost of a new automobile is $35,000 and attributed part of that to increasing fuel standards. At the moment, the state standard and the national one are the same-but if they diverged, automakers could end up making multiple versions of each auto to sell in different parts of the U.S. The Trump administration wants to take away California's right to set higher standards.

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The proposal would freeze US mileage standards at levels mandated by the Obama administration for 2020, when the new vehicle fleet will be required to hit an average of 30 miles per gallon in real-world driving. But as consumers spend more on gas, the costs would start to balloon.

"Californians have a right to breathe clean air, and we're not giving that up to President Trump without a fight", Feinstein said. Securing America's Future Energy, a group dedicated to reducing independence on oil, noted that vehicle prices have actually fallen 3 percent since 2013, even as overall inflation increased 8 percent.

The argument may prove a tough sell in court, where attorneys for states and environmental groups will come armed with a wealth of data undermining it. The Trump administration's plan would freeze the current Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) targets at their 2020 numbers through 2026.

Automakers have said they want improved efficiency but also want standards that account for the massive shift from cars to trucks and SUVs.

"If the United States emissions dropped to zero-that means all electrical generation emissions, all transportation emissions, all manufacturing emissions-if they all went to zero, it would be very hard to see that signal in the global temperature even by the year 2100". It says keeping the Obama-era standards in place would increase the cost of an average vehicle by $2,340, prompting consumers to hold back in buying newer, safer vehicles and end up aging the nation's fleet of cars on the road. "Automakers support continued improvements in fuel economy and flexibilities that incentivize advanced technologies while balancing priorities like affordability, safety, jobs and the environment".

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