Published: Thu, March 16, 2017
Business | By Megan Pierce

Trump Sets Stage for Gutting Obama's Strict Fuel-Economy Standards

Trump Sets Stage for Gutting Obama's Strict Fuel-Economy Standards

During the presidential campaign, Trump promised to loosen environmental regulations put in place during the Obama administration aimed at further requiring vehicle makers to make cars more fuel efficient to better protect the environment.

He told executives that his administration will reopen the review on fuel efficiency standards and will work to eliminate "the industry killing regulations" that hinder job creation and encourage companies to outsource their manufacturing.

Bill Reed, president of UAW Local 602, which represents GM employees in Lansing, said the union worked with the automaker to find new work for the displaced workers.

Trump's overruling of an attempt by Barack Obama's government, a week before his departure from the White House, to solidify the regulations marks a victory for carmakers.

"We're going to work on the CAFE standards so you can make cars in America again", Trump said.

Trump will make the announcement, which is expected to be favourable to USA carmakers, during a trip to MI, where he will meet auto industry executives and auto workers.

Numerous autoworkers on site told WWJ's Jeff Gilbert they were given time off with pay to attend the event, some of them brought on buses to the American Center for Mobility - the site of the old Willow Run bomber plant, west of Detroit. "If that continues, we'll have to recalibrate".

President Donald Trump is interviewed by Reuters in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, D.C., on February 23, 2017.

In early 2017, the Obama administration EPA, as well as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, locked in fuel-economy and greenhouse-gas emission targets for the automakers, compelling them to achieve an average of 54.5 mpg by 2025. The official predicted that today's decision won't face legal challenges, because it's revoking an Obama-era decision that never went through a rulemaking.

But the Trump administration contends the new review is no big deal.

Environmental advocates have already vowed to fight back against any rollback of the rules.

"I'm asking all of the companies here today to join us in this new industrial revolution", Trump told auto workers at a former assembly plant in Ypsilanti.

"It's not just a motto, it's a pledge", Trump told the applauding crowd. "In fact, the industry as a whole has surpassed the vehicle standards in each of the last four years, while creating jobs and selling more vehicles than ever". "21-2016-Signed.pdf">have lamented the fuel economy rules, claiming the anticipated $33 billion cost of implementing them was too high and the policy itself not aligned with consumer demand.

Trump, however, will keep a waiver in place that allows California to set tougher standards than are in place nationally, though that could change in 2018.

Auto companies complained to Trump in a November letter that complying with Obama's standards would require them to spend a "staggering" $200 billion between 2012 and 2025. As it stands, California essentially gets to write its own rules, which are followed by other states with much of the US population.

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