For the federal government’s proposed freeze of fuel economy standards to prevail, Trump administration officials will have to win on the legal battlefield.
Automotive News reported that waves of opponents — from state and local governments, to safety, consumer, energy conservation and environmental interests — are mobilizing for an all-out assault to kill the Trump administration’s proposal, which would reduce the average fuel economy target for cars and light-duty trucks from an estimated 46.8 mpg for the 2025 model year and freeze it at the 2020 level of 37 mpg.
An equally tough skirmish will revolve around the administration’s plan to rescind California’s authority under the 1970 Clean Air Act to set stricter emissions and efficiency standards than federal agencies. Under an agreement engineered by President Barack Obama in 2012, California recognized the federal standard as equivalent to its own.
While automakers pressed the Trump administration for more flexibility under the 2012 agreement, they have voiced concern about a protracted legal battle that would throw product development plans off track or upset the alignment between U.S. and California rules.
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