19 states vow to sue over proposed fuel efficiency rollbacks

19 states vow to sue over proposed fuel efficiency rollbacks

19 states vow to sue over proposed fuel efficiency rollbacks

"Current estimates indicate that the proposed SAFE Vehicles Rule would save over 500 billion dollars in societal costs and reduce highway fatalities by 12,700 lives (over the lifetimes of vehicles through [model year] 2029)", the agencies state.

"For more than a decade, ME and the other states have used our rights under the Clean Air Act to limit tailpipe pollution beyond federal minimum requirements", Emmie Theberge, federal project director at NRCM, said in a statement.

Fuel efficiency standards were first introduced in 1975 and are estimated to have saved Americans more than $2tn in fuel costs since then.

Trump's plan also undercuts California's long-standing ability to set its own tailpipe restrictions, most recently in an effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Donahue called the EPA's move "an extraordinary attack on California's historic role...."

"We are prepared to go to court to put the brakes on this reckless and illegal plan", said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who is part of the multi-state lawsuit.

The proposal represents an abrupt reversal of the findings that the government reached under President Obama, when regulators argued that requiring more fuel efficient vehicles would improve public health, combat climate change and save consumers money without compromising safety.

"We want to make sure that market forces and consumers help choose what vehicles are manufactured, and that the government is not forcing manufacturers to build cars that consumers don't want", said NHTSA Dept. Administrator Heidi King this week.

While the administration supports freezing the mileage standards after 2020, it will seek public comment now on that proposal and a range of others, including leaving the tighter, Obama administration fuel standards in place.

Environmental groups are already expressing their outrage over the plan.

"My job as the state's attorney general is to protect my state's rights and interests and the environmental rights of all Pennsylvanians", Shapiro said.

Under restrictions passed by the Obama administration, the fleet-wide fuel economy would have risen gradually to about 47 mpg by 2025.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein said in a statement Thursday that there is no need to change the standards, and that the state is "not going to let him" change its emissions standards.

Although auto makers signed on to the fuel standards, with Trump's election they saw an opening to renegotiate terms, hoping to gain some grace time for conforming to the stricter rules.

"The fleet of new vehicles today is the most fuel efficient ever, and they have gotten safer every year", said Luke Tonachel, director of clean vehicles and fuels at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Officials said the change to fuel efficiency rules would offer a "much-needed time-out from further costly increases". The affordability argument ignores thousands of dollars of saving in fuel costs for each driver over the life of a auto, opponents of the rollbacks said. "In my opinion the only way they got there was, they knew what kind of results they were told to get and they cooked the books to get that result". Electric cars and trucks still account for a tiny fraction of those sold, and driver preference for SUVs, along with relatively low gas prices, have inhibited progress there.

Both the targets from the Obama and Trump eras will not apply uniformly to all vehicles, instead vehicles will be assessed based on their footprint and respective category, passenger vehicle or light truck.

The argument remained on the EPA's website Thursday. It also claims that lower new auto prices would mean more folks buying them and moving out of older, less safe cars.

But private transportation experts say there are so many factors involved that the 1,000 lives saved figure is questionable. Several other states followed California's guidelines, creating a fragmented set of standards across the country.

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