Trump’s clean vehicle rollback will cost the US $457 billion

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The Environmental Protection Agency proposed a set of new fuel economy and emissions standards on August 2, estimated to result in 12,700 fewer traffic deaths, make passenger cars more affordable, and give automakers more freedom to create cars based on consumer preference rather than government mandate.

But consumer groups and experts said the messaging around the proposal is deceptive, completely ignoring the cost savings on gas in more efficient cars - especially if gas prices increase.

The Obama-era rules also drove vehicle prices higher, since prior estimates fell short of what incremental improvements to fuel efficiency actually cost.

Proposed fuel economy rules won't be as strict as those set out in 2012.

"We strongly oppose the Trump administration plan to roll back these clean-car standards, and we're going to fight to do that", Shapiro said in a conference call with the attorneys general of California, Xavier Becerra, and Massachusetts, Maura Healey.

It's got "everything to do with just trying to turn over the fleet. and get more clean and safe cars on the road", said Bill Wehrum, assistant administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Before a crowd of autoworkers assembled at a decommissioned auto factory, Trump said "we're going to work on the CAFE standards so you can make cars in America again".

"EPA is proposing to withdraw the waiver granted to California in 2013 for the GHG [Greenhouse Gas] and ZEV [Zero Emissions Vehicles] requirements of its Advanced Clean Cars program", the proposal says.

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The prospect of an extended legal fight has discomfited automakers, who had asked the administration to relax the Obama-era rules but don't want to see the USA market split in two, with different models of cars required in blue and red states.

One of the administration's arguments against the 2012 rule is that the cheapest ways for auto makers to achieve fuel efficiency already have been implemented. "Thanks to emissions and efficiency rules, consumers have saved billions of dollars on fuel over the last 5 years and pollution has dropped".

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.

The prices on new cars have become unaffordable to median-income families in every metropolitan region in the United States except Washington, according to an independent study by Bankrate.com. The Obama administration estimated that the increased standards would save 12bn barrels of oil.

President Donald Trump had directed the rethink of the mileage regulations, saying in March 2017, "If the standards threatened auto jobs, then common-sense changes" were needed.

And so what the Trump this is also doing, along with freezing the CAFE standards, is limiting the extent to which states can impose regulations on other states and on manufacturers. Automakers have said they want improved efficiency but also want standards that account for the massive shift from cars to trucks and SUVs. They are gearing up for a legal and political battle, particularly over the California waiver. "We urge California and the federal government to find a common sense solution that sets continued increases in vehicle efficiency standards while also meeting the needs of American drivers". California is confident the administration has no legal authority to revoke the waiver it has been granted under the Clean Air Act allowing it to keep the Obama-era rules in place.

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