Trump's EPA proposes rollback of Obama emission standards

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Calling a new Trump administration proposal to roll back fuel efficiency standards "insane", Pennsylvania's Attorney General Josh Shapiro said the state would join 18 others, including California, to legally challenge the sweeping plan to scrap Obama-era rules that set increasingly higher standards.

The proposal released by the EPA and DOT says that the fuel efficiency standards raise prices on new cars, leading more Americans to drive older cars longer and making the roads less safe.

It argued that this policy change was necessary because the Obama administration's standards "raised the cost and decreased the supply of newer, safer vehicles". At least twelve other states and the District of Columbia follow California's rules.

"It's a proposal that attacks the states' right to protect people from risky pollution, one that no one -- not the American public, not the states, not even most automakers -- really wants, and one that's being presented to the public under the false and easily discredited guise of improving public safety", the statement continued.

The proportion of passengers killed in cars that are older than 18 years is nearly double that of cars that are newer than three years, according to a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study. Those standards target a doubling of the fuel economy standards to 50 miles per gallon.

Schwarzenegger added that he's "sick and exhausted of these fake conservatives who believe in states' rights to make their own policies - as long as state policy is to pollute more".

We are delivering on President Trump's promise to the American public that his administration would address and fix the current fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards.

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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. 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. "These arguments are not new".

A lower emission standard would make it easier for them to make the vehicles more drivers want. "The data and science does not back up what they are trying to do, which is to eviscerate these California standards".

Those negotiations have gone nowhere. But any plans to freeze clean air rules and strip California of its power to set its own rules is drawing fire from members of both parties. "The administration is using a parade of horrors to justify an extreme rollback", said the Safe Climate Campaign. "There is no provision in the Clean Air Act for revoking a waiver".

Trump's proposal lowers that to around 35 mpg by the year 2020.

Another claimed benefit: More affordable cars. "They lead to the conclusion that safety will be impaired".

The states that have adopted California's emission rules together make up about one third of the USA auto market.