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News Just now U.S. government proposes more lenient fuel economy targets

News Just now U.S. government proposes more lenient fuel economy targets

There's already plenty of debate over the Trump administration's plan to freeze fuel-economy and vehicle pollution standards as states like California vow to fight the relaxed rules, and even automakers signal their intent to press on developing cleaner cars.

Continuing its assault on federal rules created to protect the environment and combat global warming, the Trump administration has proposed weakening future fuel efficiency standards for American cars and trucks.

The proposal would also end a federal waiver to California that allowed the it to enact stricter tailpipe standards, thereby limiting the types of cars that can be sold in the nation's most populous state.

The proposal from the U.S. Transportation Department and Environmental Protection Agency would freeze fuel efficiency standards at 2020 levels through 2026, and require dramatically fewer electric vehicles as more people continue to drive gasoline-powered vehicles.

The 19 states, and Washington D.C, announced what is likely to be a legal showdown over the proposal.

"The EPA has handed decision making over to the fossil fuel lobbyists ... the flat-Earthers, the climate change deniers", said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.

As part of the SAFE rule package, the federal government is also seeking to revoke California's ability to set its own greenhouse gas emissions targets for vehicles, as well as the state's zero emissions vehicles mandate.

The administration's proposal could set off a high-stakes legal battle with California and the 13 other states that follow its more stringent rules.

Easing requirements that cars be more fuel efficient should make them both cheaper and safer, getting vehicles with the latest safety developments in the hands of consumers, officials said.

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"The National Auto Dealers Association estimates the federal standards demanded by California will add $3,000 to the cost of new motor vehicles by 2025, potentially pricing millions of low-income households out of the market for new cars", Marlo Lewis, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), said in astatement. And what the Trump administration is doing in trying to roll those back, it's going to cost hundreds of billions of dollars more at the pump. Critics said it would accelerate climate change and increase fuel prices.

California has had the authority under the half-century-old Clean Air Act to set its own mileage standards to combat its chronic smog problem.

California and NY are among the states signing on to a statement Thursday pledging legal action against the Trump administration's action on fuel efficiency.

Heidi King, deputy administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said the freeze would reduce highway deaths by 1,000 per year 'by reducing these barriers that prevent consumers from getting into the newer, safer, cleaner, more fuel-efficient cars'.

"Californians have a right to breathe clean air, and we're not giving that up to President Trump without a fight", Feinstein said. "More realistic standards can save lives while continuing to improve the environment".

"The reporting that we're reversing Obama-era fuel efficiency standards and pre-empting the tougher California standard is simply false", Sanders said.

At a May meeting in the White House, auto firms appealed to Trump to tap the brakes on the administration's aggressive rollback plan.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and Global Automakers, two trade groups that represent some of the biggest carmakers in the world, issued a joint statement expressing similar sentiments.