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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Trump administration proposed new rules to roll back the miles-per-gallon or fuel efficiency standards on new cars and trucks sold in America, beginning in 2020, and to relax tailpipe carbon emission standards from vehicles.
“This represents a major change in the level of the standards,” Joshua Linn told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Thursday.
Linn is a senior fellow at Resources for the Future, a non-partisan think-tank in Washington, and an associate professor at the University of Maryland.
“The current standards, the ones that were set by the Obama administration, would end up being on average about 47 miles per gallon by the year 2025, and so they are proposing to lower those standards from 47 to about 37 miles per gallon,” Linn said.
Instead of gradually increasing the standards until 2025, Trump officials want to freeze the current standards in place.
And they also want to deny states like California, Pennsylvania and ten others from imposing tougher tailpipe standards, as they can do now.
“Transportation is our number one source of air pollution, so we have to figure out ways to reduce emissions from transportation, and rolling back these emission standards are just not going to help,” says Tom Flannigan with the Bay Area Air District.
While environmentalists worry about the impact of these roll backs on the overall environment, car dealerships like Richard Bazzy at Shults Ford say there are going to be plenty of fuel efficient cars for customers, along with lots of other choices, too.
“In the next four to five years, almost our entire product line will be electrified vehicles,” says Bazzy.
Bazzy says manufacturers are moving ahead on cleaner cars regardless of government regulations.
And he prefers to let the market respond to consumer desires since greater miles-per-gallon can affect price.
“It has to be passed on from the manufacturer,” notes Bazzy. “Somewhere that cost has to increase, especially when you put a timeframe on it.”
Besides reducing auto prices, the administration says their standards are more realistic and will save lives.
The rule change has months of citizen comment and review to go before taking effect.
In the meantime, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro and 18 other AG’s say they’ll sue the Trump administration if it rolls back limits on tailpipe pollution from cars and trucks.
Shapiro says the rule change will increase oil consumption, spew more carbon into the atmosphere and cost Americans more than $200 billion at the gas pump.