BREAKING NEWS : Fort Wayne Police remain quiet days after officer shoots man Full Story
BREAKING NEWS : Family of Mario Gilmer Jr. sets up GoFundMe for funeral costs following canceled safety alert Full Story

Trump administration wants to lower emissions standards for cars

Setting up a showdown with California, the Trump administration on Thursday announced a plan to revoke a sig...

Posted: Aug 2, 2018 8:20 PM
Updated: Aug 2, 2018 8:20 PM

Setting up a showdown with California, the Trump administration on Thursday announced a plan to revoke a signature Obama-era environmental regulation.

The administration wants to freeze a rule mandating that automakers work to make cars substantially more fuel efficient. It called its plan a "50-state fuel economy and tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions standard for passenger cars and light trucks."

Air quality regulation

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Energy and environment

Energy and utilities

Energy efficiency and conservation

Environment and natural resources

Environmental law

Environmental regulation and policy

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Law and legal system

Pollution

US federal government

White House

California

Continents and regions

Jerry Brown

North America

Political Figures - US

Southwestern United States

The Americas

United States

Automakers and manufacturing

Automotive industry

Air pollution

Automotive fuels

Climate change

Emissions

Donald Trump

The administration also proposed a withdrawal of California's Clean Air Act preemption waiver. California and about a dozen states that follow its rules account for about a third of all the passenger vehicles sold in the United States.

California Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, called the proposal "reckless."

"For Trump to now destroy a law first enacted at the request of Ronald Reagan five decades ago is a betrayal and an assault on the health of Americans everywhere," said Brown, in a statement. "California will fight this stupidity in every conceivable way possible."

Thirteen states, plus Washington, DC, have adopted California's standards. Colorado announced plans to become the fourteenth.

California has, for decades, had a waiver allowing it to set its own emissions standards because the state had distinct air quality issues. In 2007, a federal court allowed California to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, in particular carbon dioxide.

The only way to lower CO2 emissions from cars is to reduce the actual amount of fuel burned -- it cannot be easily filtered out or reduced like other pollutants. That created a potentially difficult situation for the auto industry: States would have, in effect, different fuel economy standards.

The Obama administration's answer was a unified fuel economy and emissions regimen worked out among the California regulators, the EPA, which regulates emissions, and NHTSA, which regulates fuel economy.

The attorneys general of 20 states, including California, pledged to sue the Trump administration. They called the plan illegal, saying it would force motorists to pay more for gas and create more air pollution.

On Thursday, government officials said they would like to work with California to create a mutually agreed-upon regulation. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said he was "ready and willing" to meet but that he did not believe previous conversations had been productive.

"So far we have not had a receptive audience in the Trump Administration," he said.

A new standard

The Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards require automakers' cars to average about 50 miles per gallon by 2025. The standards, enacted in 2012, get stricter every year leading up to 2025. The Trump administration's proposal would cut off the average CAFE increases in 2020, when automakers will have to produce cars that get an average of 43.7 miles per gallon under CAFE rules. (CAFE fuel economy is different from the more realistic fuel economy numbers seen on car window stickers.)

"It's still a very aggressive program. We have been steadily increasing the standards... for almost a decade," said EPA Assistant Administrator Bill Wehrum on a call with reporters Thursday.

Safety means efficiency?

The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation cited safety as one reason for the changes. They claimed the reduced standards would make new cars more affordable. That would allow more people to buy cars with enhanced safety features, the government said. The administration said the proposed plan will prevent thousands of on-road fatalities and injuries.

If more people buy new cars, Wehrum said, it will lead to an increase in cleaner, safer cars on the road.

"We can have our cake and eat it too," he said.

Rebecca Lindland, an industry analyst with Kelly Blue Book who was involved in an Obama-era review of the standards, said consumers do not place a high priority on fuel economy when buying a new vehicle but they do place a priority on safety. She thought it unlikely that consumers wouldn't spend money if a car was demonstrably safer. She did agree, though, that some easing of the fuel economy requirements was needed but nothing as drastic as the Trump administration's proposal.

"The uncertainty this causes didn't need to happen," she said.

When questioned about what role increased fuel efficiency has played in the rise in vehicle prices in recent years, Heidi King, Deputy Administrator at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said she didn't believe it was actually a primary factor.

"Fuel economy is an important part of the cost structure but hasn't historically been the primary driver of an increase," she said. "Until consumers and families are driving around in these vehicles we won't see fuel efficiency and economy gains."

Automakers, represented by the Auto Alliance and Global Automakers, said they support "substantive negotiations" about fuel efficiency standards.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 749532

Reported Deaths: 13746
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1030911775
Lake554681006
Allen41636691
St. Joseph36947564
Hamilton36527416
Elkhart29363459
Tippecanoe22862225
Vanderburgh22542400
Porter19331325
Johnson18405388
Hendricks17588317
Clark13200193
Madison13120344
Vigo12604253
LaPorte12394221
Monroe12163175
Delaware10947198
Howard10263225
Kosciusko9614119
Hancock8549144
Bartholomew8162157
Warrick7854156
Floyd7772180
Grant7229179
Wayne7155201
Boone6917103
Morgan6736141
Dubois6211118
Marshall6206116
Cass5991108
Henry5894108
Dearborn588978
Noble580186
Jackson508674
Shelby500897
Lawrence4732121
Gibson444093
Harrison440773
Clinton440055
DeKalb438785
Montgomery434690
Whitley406042
Huntington402281
Steuben399259
Miami392768
Jasper386954
Knox375790
Putnam372160
Wabash360583
Ripley346570
Adams344955
Jefferson335685
White330253
Daviess3031100
Wells295181
Decatur289992
Greene286385
Fayette284864
Posey273735
LaGrange272872
Scott269955
Clay265848
Washington244934
Randolph244683
Jennings235149
Spencer234231
Starke227558
Fountain218647
Sullivan213943
Owen211058
Fulton201542
Jay200932
Carroll193420
Orange188055
Perry186937
Rush175726
Vermillion173644
Franklin170235
Tipton165846
Parke149016
Pike138034
Blackford136132
Pulaski120247
Newton112736
Brown103943
Crawford102316
Benton101014
Martin91515
Warren83615
Switzerland8098
Union72810
Ohio57811
Unassigned0420

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1107225

Reported Deaths: 20091
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1285061459
Cuyahoga1156322204
Hamilton812991245
Montgomery524951040
Summit48356999
Lucas43309817
Butler38903603
Stark33297929
Lorain25641502
Warren24558303
Mahoning22332601
Lake21139385
Clermont20098252
Delaware18819135
Licking16649222
Fairfield16564204
Trumbull16527479
Medina15597270
Greene15256246
Clark14223306
Wood13281197
Portage13229214
Allen11903239
Richland11598211
Miami10837223
Wayne9116222
Columbiana9023230
Muskingum8889135
Pickaway8652122
Tuscarawas8639247
Marion8635138
Erie8052164
Ashtabula7139179
Hancock6996131
Ross6934161
Geauga6832150
Scioto6530104
Belmont6149174
Union583849
Lawrence5723102
Jefferson5669158
Huron5539122
Sandusky5437125
Darke5415129
Seneca5344126
Washington5308109
Athens523360
Auglaize501687
Mercer487285
Shelby476295
Knox4568112
Madison443765
Ashland435197
Putnam4334103
Fulton431871
Defiance431798
Crawford4033110
Brown401961
Logan387377
Preble3847103
Clinton378566
Ottawa372781
Highland359465
Williams347878
Champaign343858
Guernsey324253
Jackson317554
Perry297150
Morrow291340
Fayette285350
Hardin274865
Henry273267
Holmes2699101
Coshocton268459
Van Wert247264
Adams242956
Pike242735
Gallia240550
Wyandot234556
Hocking220162
Carroll196948
Paulding176342
Meigs148240
Monroe136144
Noble135839
Harrison113738
Morgan109624
Vinton85417
Unassigned03
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
59° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 59°
Angola
Clear
° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: °
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 55°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
59° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 59°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 56°
It'll be another pleasant day with sunshine and highs in the upper 70s.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events