Simon Mui, a senior scientist at the National Resources Defense Council, a group that opposes the change to the fuel standards, calculates that the change will have the net effect of reducing the average real world fuel economy of American automobiles by about 8 miles per gallon in 2025 relative to what it would be if Obama era standards were kept in place.
The proposal would freeze USA mileage standards at 2020 levels, when the new vehicle fleet will be required to hit an average of 30 miles per gallon in real-world driving.
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. Get the full story in the video above.
"More realistic standards can save lives while continuing to improve the environment", said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. "California will fight this stupidity in every conceivable way possible".
Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) on Thursday blasted President TrumpDonald John TrumpPro-Trump pastor: Trump is "the most pro-black" president I've ever seen Trump renews calls for interview with Mueller: report CNN's Acosta: Hannity is "injecting poison into the nation's political bloodstream" MORE for his administration's plan to strip California of its ability to determine its own vehicle regulations for greenhouse gas emissions.
Automakers had long bemoaned the Obama standards as too hard to meet, especially as more consumers choose larger trucks, crossovers and SUVs, which guzzle more gasoline.
"The administration's proposal to weaken these rules will cause the American people to breathe dirtier air and pay higher prices at the pump", said a joint statement from attorneys general from the states, including New York, Virginia and North Carolina.
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And concern persists that there won't be enough spare OPEC capacity to make up for losses from producers like Venezuela. Oil was steady near $70/bbl as supply risks from Saudi Arabia to the United Kingdom threaten to strain global markets.
Healey, the attorney general for MA, said: "This absolutely has to be one of the most harmful and dumbest actions the EPA has taken".
Becerra said he was already preparing to sue the Trump administration and would be joined by 18 other state attorneys general, including Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and NY.
And while automakers initially asked the Trump administration to loosen fuel economy requirements, this impending legal battle is one they would rather avoid. The government also said the proposal will save consumers $2,340 (£1,796 / €2,017) since automakers won't have to increase prices to offset the costs of building more efficient vehicles. Anticipating the new regulation, California and 16 other states sued the U.S.
"Our proposal aims to strike the right regulatory balance based on the most recent information and create a 50-state solution that will enable more Americans to afford newer, safer vehicles that pollute less", he said. A dozen other states and Washington DC also follow higher standards.
The administration must gather feedback on the proposal before it is finalized, a process that could take months and that could be further delayed by lawsuits.
"I'm sure you've all heard the big news that we're going to work on the CAFE standards, so you can make cars in America again", Trumptold a crowd in Detroit on March 15, 2017.