Trump to meet with auto industry representatives in MI

Posted March 15, 2017

US President Donald Trump will travel to Detroit on Wednesday to meet with leaders and workers in the automotive sector with the stated will to encourage deregulation, one of the main thrusts of his policy. Here, vehicles refuel at a roadside gas station in New Mexico. The EPA developed the standards as a single program alongside the Department of Transportation's fuel economy rules, popularly known as Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) standards. The agency will restore the original timeline set in agreement with carmakers, which was to determine by April 2018 whether the standards for 2022 through 2025 are still feasible, the White House official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity ahead of Trump's announcement.

In a visit to Detroit, the president will direct the EPA to re-examine fuel efficiency standards put in place by the Obama administration just before Trump took office, reports the Washington Post.

President Trump is expected to speak at 2:20 p.m.

Auto companies complained to Trump in a November letter that complying with Obama's standards would require them to spend a "staggering" $200 billion between 2012 and 2025.

It will take a lengthy process, based on factual evidence, to overturn that report's conclusion that automakers have met the standards to date at lower cost and using less expensive electrification than projected, and will be able to do so through 2025. Automakers have said they're not feasible.

Automakers argue the vehicle emissions rules will impose significant costs and are out of step with consumer preferences.

California has a waiver under the Clean Air Act to set its own vehicle rules and has said it would vigorously fight any effort to revoke it.

Even under its new head, climate-science denier and fossil-fuel proponent Scott Pruitt, however, the EPA will have to abide by the rule of law and its internal procedures.

Rolling back the standards would also boost USA oil consumption by 1.2 billion gallons and increase US carbon pollution by 540 billion tons over the lifetime of the model-year 2022-2025 cars. California's influential Air Resources Board is steadfast in its support of electrified vehicles.

Eighteen auto industry executives including Mary Barra of GM, Ford Motor Co.'s Mark Fields and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV boss Sergio Marchionne sent a letter to Trump in February, asking him to reinstate the review of fuel economy regulations.

The Trump administration is expected to open the door to lower fuel economy requirements, and the measures could involve less strict controls on carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions than the ones that were initially adopted.

"If at that point California decides it wants to go in a different direction or if we decide we want to go in a different direction, we'll have to deal with that at that point, but that's further down the road", the official said.