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Trump abandons the plan to freeze cars for fuel efficiency



The White House appears to be abandoning the plan to freeze fuel efficiency standards for cars at 2020 levels, reversing a cornerstone policy in Trump's campaign, reports The Wall Street Journal . The administration now estimates an increase of 1.5 per cent annually instead.

The move could cause General Motors, Toyota and Fiat Chrysler to be in a quarrel. The companies sided with the president in a legal battle over whether California could set its own standards for fuel economy. From the outside, they seemed to capitulate to his demands, rather than the overwhelming evidence that vehicle emissions must be cut to protect against climate change. Now they may have destroyed a lot of goodwill and damaged reputation without getting what Trump promised.

Under Obama, car companies had to almost double the efficiency of their vehicles, to an average of 54 miles per gallon, by the year 2025 They claimed this would make cars too expensive, and prompted Trump to propose a new plan that would freeze fuel efficiency standards to an average of 37 miles per gallon, just above where they are today.

California decided to go ahead and commit to those Obama-era goals – a decision that angered the president. He tweeted that Henry Ford likely "rolled over" in his grave on "the weakness of current car company executives."

California lawmakers signed an agreement with Ford, Volkswagen, Honda and BMW to increase the fuel efficiency of their vehicles and reducing emissions by around 3.7 percent through the year 2026. Together, the four companies make up about 30 percent of the global car market, which meant California's package was enough to jeopardize Trump's plan.

"Since other states follow California's regulation of air regulation, the deal has the potential to split the market if the Trump administration adopts a federal standard with lower standards," explained our transportation reporter Sean O. & # 39; Kane in August.

That was more or less what seemed to happen, until the White House reportedly started to return to the decision. The new plan is likely to result in a 1.5 percent increase in fuel efficiency each year, "using an industry measure that takes into account both gas mileage and emissions reductions," according to The Wall Street Journal . Going forward, the administration may face legal challenges from California and other states that still want to see stricter standards.


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