Logo for The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Graphic: NHTSA

By Ryan Beene, Alan Levin, and John Lippert
9 February 2018

(Bloomberg News) – President Donald Trump’s administration is looking at ways to reduce future fuel economy standards for automobiles in a move to appease carmakers, who have asked to ease targets put in place under President Barack Obama.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking at a range of options to lower future targets, including one that would permit an average fleetwide fuel economy standard of 35.7 miles per gallon by 2026, down from the 46.6 miles per gallon under rules charted by the Obama administration, according to a draft NHTSA analysis obtained by Bloomberg News.

Under that scenario, the agency projects an estimated 10 percent of new cars and light trucks sold in 2030 would need to be hybrid or plug-in electric to comply with the standards. That compares to 61 percent under the Obama-era proposal, according to the document.

The draft analysis, dated 22 January 2018, outlines several alternatives to NHTSA fuel economy standards for upcoming model years that were charted during the Obama administration. Other scenarios offer less aggressive cuts to future standards. The document doesn’t specify a preferred scenario.

The draft also indicates NHTSA may propose standards for as early as the 2021 model year and as far in the future as model year 2026, giving automakers additional time to achieve reductions in fuel consumption.

The documents provide a glimpse into negotiations now going on between NHTSA, the Environmental Protection Agency and California regulators over the fate of one of the Obama administration’s signature environmental policies. At the end of March, NHTSA plans to begin the process of putting rules in place that will set new fuel economy rules for 2022 to 2025.

The proposal could set the Trump administration on a collision course with California regulators, who have vowed to defend their own efficiency standards. […]

In a statement Saturday, a spokesman for the California Air Resources Board said the state has received no proposals or analyses from the Trump administration about possible changes to federal standards and won’t make a specific comment until it does.

However, California remains convinced that greater fuel economy and more electric cars -- not fewer -- are needed to protect the public health, address climate change, and save consumers money at the pump, according to Stanley Young, the ARB spokesman.

“It’s clear that in order to stay competitive globally, the U.S. auto industry needs to keep pace with the rest of the world. That’s where California is moving,” Young said. “It is unwise for the federal government to set the clock of automotive technology back a decade.” [more]

Trump Administration Said to Eye Big Cuts to Fuel Economy Rules


  1. Anonymous said...

    Actually, this reveals the root cause of many of our problems. It is industry that is driving the planet into extinction; and it is industry that is demanding legislative changes, protections, rules, tariffs, etc., that favor them. Politicians, as stupid as they are, do what industry wants.

    The real planet destroyers are the industries that are raping the planet blind, building weapons of mass destruction, engaging and fostering wholesale conficts and regional wars to sell their products to gullible governments, and manipulating the public perceptions about all of this (selling us the bill of goods that this is all good for the economy).

    What is good for the economy is bad for the planet and the future of human habitability.  


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