Tue | Sep 26, 2017

Trump announces challenge to Obama-era fuel standards

Published:Thursday | March 16, 2017 | 3:00 AM
US President Donald Trump.

YPSILANTI, Michigan (AP):

President Donald Trump announced yesterday that the administration will re-examine federal requirements governing the fuel efficiency of cars and trucks, moving forcefully against Obama-era environmental regulations that Trump says are stifling economic growth.

Trump was set to reveal his plans during a speech at an automotive testing centre near Detroit, but he previewed the announcement during a round-table meeting at the American Center for Mobility with auto company executives and workers, just before the speech to a much bigger audience.

"This is going to be a new era for American jobs and job creation," Trump said at the meeting.

The EPA under Obama had promulgated a rule for cars and trucks requiring a fleet-wide average of 36mpg in real-world driving by 2025.

Trump's decision, while having no immediate effect, requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to determine no later than April 2018 whether the 2022-2025 standards established are appropriate. If the EPA determines they are not appropriate, the agency will submit a new proposal next year.

ELIMINATING REGULATIONS

"My administration will work tirelessly to eliminate the industry-killing regulations, to lower the job-crushing taxes and to ensure a level playing field for all American companies and workers," Trump said in the speech at the centre, which produced B-24 bombers during World War II and is being converted into an automotive testing and product development facility.

Trump's announcement is expected to set the stage for weaker fuel-efficiency standards as well as drawn-out legal battles with environmental groups and states such as California that adopted their own tough tailpipe standards for drivers.

"These standards are costly for automakers and the American people," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. He promised a "thorough review" that will "help ensure this national programme is good for consumers and good for the environment".