Wednesday, June 19

States Pledge To Sue Against Trump’s Rollback On Emission Standards

Heavy Smoke at Oil RefineryTrump announced on August 2 that his administration plans to roll back environmental emission standards. In response, nearly 20 states have pledged to sue the administration.

The current emission standards have been in place for 50 years, but Trump wants to lower the fuel efficiency standards for cars to only 29 miles a gallon by 2025. For context, the Obama administration set a more fuel-efficient standard. The current requirement plans to achieve 43 miles per gallon in the same time frame.

The 13 states that have been granted the fuel-efficiency waiver have said that the new plan posed by the administration is illegal. According to them, lowering fuel efficiency standards will raise gas prices for consumers while simultaneously contributing to increased levels of air pollution.

Some states, like California, have begun to go to court to voice their disapproval for the new revocation. California is currently the nation’s leader in energy efficiency and has a state-wide standard on emissions independent of the United States. This previous waiver allowed 13 states, including California, to set higher emission standards for automobiles and businesses than the federal average.

The major claim behind the Trump’s administration would be that a rollback of emissions standards would prevent casualties on the road since money would be used for safety features, not for setting fuel-efficiency standards. The administration claims it will also have the added benefit of making cars more affordable for the consumer.

Consumers looking to purchase a new vehicle will spend nearly 60% of their time researching vehicles online as opposed to going to stores in order to find the best deal that’s right for them. The deputy administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims that eco-friendly cars have not swayed consumer decisions.

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

As of now, there is no correlation between the increase in auto prices and the influx of fuel-efficient vehicles. The increase could simply be the result of inflation or trade tariffs. The auto body industry alone is worth nearly $42 billion.

While the different fuel economy standards may vary from state to state due to the waiver given by the federal government, it is unknown if these standards are negatively affecting the auto industry.

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