Under the Obama administration, automakers were required to reach a fleetwide average fuel economy for all cars and light trucks of 51.4 miles per gallon by 2025. "More realistic standards will promote a healthy economy by bringing newer, safer, cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles to USA roads and we look forward to receiving input from the public".
Transport has become the largest sector source of greenhouse gas emissions in the USA, as cheap fuel has encouraged Americans to buy larger vehicles such as SUVs. Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports, said consumers could save between $3,200 per auto and $4,800 per truck over the life of the vehicle under that standard, and that they would save even more if gas prices go up.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) tweeted soon after the White House announced the policy change that she saw this as proof that the Trump administration was prioritizing "lining the pockets of big oil over protecting our right to breathe clean air".
The administration wants to freeze a rule mandating that automakers work to make cars substantially more fuel efficient. 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 vehicle to sell in different parts of the U.S. The Trump administration wants to take away California's right to set higher standards.
Obama sought to add to the fuel standards in an effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and cut down on greenhouse gases, but automakers fought the changes.
Deputy Administrator of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration Heidi King said the average vehicle on the road in the U.S.is 12 years old and that the proposed rule would mean fewer accidents and injuries.
Becerra said California is "ready and willing" to talk with Trump administration regulators, but that previous talks have not been fruitful.
Gina McCarthy, thes EPA administrator under Obama, said the reversal of these standards "run contrary to sound science and the law". The state, and others that have adopted the standard, have vowed to fight in court.
"The clean auto standards are already saving our families billions at the pump, supporting almost 300,000 American jobs, and cleaning up risky tailpipe pollution", said Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council. "The administration's announcement that it will relax future fuel economy (CAFE) standards is good news for consumers", Myron Ebell, director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Center for Energy and Environment, said in a statement.
But private transportation experts say there are so many factors involved that the 1,000-lives figure is questionable.
In a notice of proposed rulemaking, the EPA and Transportation Department would freeze the standards at 2020 levels through 2026.
The Union of Concerned Scientists said the rollback is "completely unacceptable".
California joined 16 other states and the District of Columbia in suing the EPA in May, asking the court to review the EPA's proposed actions. Also, and manufacturers are talking about kind of having two different standards.
A drawn-out legal battle over the standards could hurt the auto industry as it tries to plan for coming model years. Now they're only about one-third, with less-efficient trucks and SUVS making up the rest.