The Trump administrationon Thursday announced plans to freeze fuel efficiency requirements for the nation's cars and trucks through 2026 - a massive regulatory rollback likely to spur a legal battle with California and other states, as well as create potentialupheaval in the nation's automotive market. The EPA estimates that the new rules would result in a 0.003 degree Celsius difference in the global climate by the year 2100, compared with the Obama-era mandate.
"The earth is not flat and climate change is real", Becerra said.
"We are delivering on President Trump's promise to the American public that his administration would address and fix the current fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards", a statement from Wheeler reads. "We are going to try to work it out".
"If the standards threatened auto jobs, then common-sense changes could have and should have been made".
The administration also said it wants to revoke an authority granted to California under the half-century-old Clean Air Act to set its own, tougher mileage standards. California's standards are followed by 13 other states.
The Trump administration is arguing that the multiple standards complicate regulation. It called its plan a "50-state fuel economy and tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions standard for passenger cars and light trucks".
The administration also contends that hiking US oil consumption by 2 to 3 percent over forecast levels would have a minimal impact on the environment, boosting global average temperature by just "3/1000th of a degree Celsius by 2100". "This will lead to more polluting vehicles, cost consumers more and it won't save any lives". "The notice lays out a series of options on how to go forward with CAFE standards and the notice asked for comments on a range of options". A final rule is expected this winter. The government also said the proposal will save consumers $2,340 (£1,796 / €2,017) since automakers won't have to increase prices to offset the costs of building more efficient vehicles. The 54 mile per gallon rule might sound high, but when automakers factor in government credits and other loop holes, experts said that the average will be closer to 36 miles per gallon.
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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. As a result, vehicle prices are soaring.
Environmental groups in ME, which is among the states that adopted California's tougher emissions requirements for new cars, and around the country quickly denounced the widely anticipated move.
The newly proposed CAFE standards are thus good news to consumers, according to astatement from Myron Ebell, the director of CEI's Center for Energy and Environment. Assuming, strictly for illustration purposes, a gasoline price of three dollars per gallon, that would result in an increased annual fuel expenditure of about $318. "Americans shouldn't be denied the ability to purchase a auto or truck that meets their needs". As a result, the age of the average auto in America is now nearly 12 years old, the highest in US history, according to IHS Markit.
"There are compelling reasons for a new rulemaking on fuel economy standards for 2021-2026", Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in a statement.
Regardless, the Trump administration notes that much of the optimism of reaching higher fuel economy rested on an ever-increasing number of electric vehicle sales.
"Rolling back these successful rules is a serious mistake that will cost consumers dearly".