President Donald Trump climbed into the cab of a Mack truck parked on the lawn Thursday, 23 March 2017, to welcome trucking industry representatives to the White House. Photo: TIME

By Paul A. Eisenstein
2 August 2018

(NBC News) – The White House announced Thursday that it is moving ahead on its much-anticipated plan to roll back the fuel economy mandate set by the Obama administration.

The previous guidelines, which were reached during Obama's first term, call for automakers to each reach a fleet average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 — though with credits and other modifications, the actual figure is expected to wind up in the low to mid-40 mpg range. Thursday's announcement means the new standard is set at 37 mpg.

Acting Environmental Protection Agency chief Andrew Wheeler said the agency also intends to eliminate California’s authority to set its own automotive emissions rules — guidelines that have traditionally been tougher than those put in place by the EPA for the rest of the country.

“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,” said Wheeler in a statement. “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.”

Recently departed EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt outlined the administration’s plans on Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, earlier this year, setting in motion a series of public hearings as well as a meeting between Trump and auto industry leaders to discuss a rollback.

Auto industry officials, notably including former Ford CEO Mark Fields, vocally supported a rollback during meetings with the then-new president in 2017. Facing heavy pressure from consumer lobbying groups, they have largely been silent about a cut in mileage targets in recent months, but there remains strong support in the industry to eliminate the California waiver. [more]

Trump administration revokes Obama-era fuel economy standards

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