Trump Sets Stage for Gutting Obama's Strict Fuel-Economy Standards

President Trump announced Wednesday that his administration would re-examine Obama-era fuel efficiency rules for cars and trucks, during a visit to the heart of the USA auto industry.

"There is no more lovely sight than an American-made vehicle", Trump said in a speech after meeting the Detroit auto executives.

"We're going to bring a lot of jobs back to MI and OH and Pennsylvania", Trump said at the roundtable. Those standards call for a real-world fuel-burning performance of 36 miles per gallon on average, up from 26 mpg today.

The official added that automakers "rightly called foul" on the Obama administration's decision to lock in the emissions standards for 2022-2025 on January 12 - 14 months ahead of schedule. If the EPA determines they are not appropriate, the agency will submit a new proposal next year.

"America will be respected again", Trump told automobile industry employees at a rally at the American Center for Mobility, a testing center for self-driving vehicles in Ypsilanti Township outside Detroit.

He told executives that his administration will reopen the review on fuel efficiency standards and will work to eliminate "the industry killing regulations" that hinder job creation and encourage companies to outsource their manufacturing. The EPA's decision to end the review prematurely ended a promised debate, they said. It said he was creating an opportunity for federal and state officials to "reach a thoughtful and coordinated outcome predicated on the best and most current data".

"This change makes no sense", Rhea Suh, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement. "We're going to be fair", he said. The administration has made no decisions on how or if the standards should be revised. The official said reopening the review does not guarantee that the standards will be weakened.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said that Mr. Trump's stop in MI, a longtime blue state that Mr. Trump turned red in November, underscored the shortcomings of the president's legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Former president Barack Obama delivers an address to workers and guests at a Fiat Chrysler assembly plant in Detroit in 2010.

Trump also wants to renegotiate NAFTA, which includes Canada and Mexico, but he did not mention those plans in Wednesday's remarks.

"There is no more lovely sight than an American-made vehicle", he also said. But the White House wants to review them in 2018, and so do the automakers. Those states wont be directly affected by Wednesdays announcement, although EPA administrator Scott Pruitt has hinted that his agency may separately attempt to challenge those states rules.

If Trump does roll back the standards, several environmental groups plan to sue, Reuters reported.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, today, was asked if he ever gave the president reason to believe he was wiretapped, to which Sessions said "no". "Fuel economy standards ensure cars and trucks go farther on less gas and save Americans money while helping working-class and lower-income families the most", said Shannon Baker-Branstetter, policy counsel for the group Consumers Union, according to CNN Money.

  • Rogelio Becker