Originally, the Trump administration was dead-set on eliminating the fuel-efficiency regulations set forth by the Obama administration. Initially, President Trump wanted to freeze the fuel economy standard at 37 miles per gallon.
However, it seems that the current administration is calling an audible by deserting the freeze in favor of a small compromise.
The Fight For Fuel Economy Regulations
Car manufacturers are divided over whether or not the state of California should be allowed to set its own fuel economy regulations and emissions standards. Companies such as BMW, Volkswagen, Honda, and Ford are in favor of stricter standards citing public health as the driving force.
However, other vehicle companies such as General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), Toyota and numerous car manufacturers represented by the Coalition for Sustainable Automotive Regulation, want to fight the fuel efficiency initiative that the Obama administration instituted.
Advocates of Trump’s legislation claim that adhering to the President’s proposal will make vehicles more affordable for the general public while California’s stricter regulations will make cars too expensive and unsafe.
Restructuring Fuel Economy and Emissions
The Trump administration has recently backed off its fuel efficiency freeze by proposing a different plan. The new plan calls for an improvement in fuel economy and emissions standard rating by 1.5% each year. The Obama administration was pursuing a rating increase of 5% annually.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Environmental Protection Agency spokesman Michael Abboud claimed that “The Trump administration is focusing on finalizing [its] rule which will deliver one national standard to the American auto market.”
The Battle is Only Beginning
Just last week, President Trump sent out a tweet thanking General Motors, Toyota, and the other manufacturers for their support:
“Thank you… for standing with us for Better, Cheaper, Safer Cars for Americans. California has treated the Auto Industry very poorly for many years, harming Workers and Consumers. We are fixing this problem!”
Retired governor of California, Jerry Brown responded less than 2 hours later saying, “Thank you [President Trump] for making crystal clear how little you know about the global car market. Your horse and buggy strategy will not work.”
Brown continued, “The fossil fuel car is going the way of the dodo bird. Please inform the other members of the Flat Earth Society.”