The White House seems to be abandoning its plan to freeze the fuel efficiency standards of cars at 2020 levels, reversing a cornerstone policy of the Trump campaign, reports The Wall Street Journal. The administration is now considering an annual increase of 1.5 percent.
The move could abandon General Motors, Toyota and Fiat Chrysler. The companies took the side of the president in a legal battle over whether California could set its own fuel consumption standards. From the outside, they seemed to capitulate for its demands, rather than the overwhelming evidence that vehicle emissions should be reduced to provide protection against climate change. Now they may have wasted a lot of goodwill and damaged their reputation without getting what Trump promised.
Under Obama, car companies should almost double the efficiency of their vehicles by 2025, to an average of 54 miles per gallon. They argued that this would make cars & # 39; s too expensive, causing Trump to propose a new plan that would freeze fuel efficiency standards at an average 37 miles per gallon, just above where they are now.
California decided to go ahead and commit to those goals from the Obama era – a decision that made the president angry. He tweeted that Henry Ford probably went bankrupt in his grave & # 39; at & # 39; the weakness of the current drivers of a car company & # 39 ;.
Henry Ford would be very disappointed to see his modern offspring who want to build a much more expensive car, which is much less safe and also does not work, because execs do not want to fight against California regulators. Car companies need to know …
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 21, 2019
California lawmakers signed a deal with Ford, Volkswagen, Honda, and BMW to increase the fuel efficiency of their vehicles and reduce emissions by around 3.7 percent by 2026. Together, these four companies make up around 30 percent of the global car market , which meant that the California pact was sufficient to jeopardize Trump's plan.
"As other states follow California's air regulation leadership, the deal has the potential to split the market if the Trump government adopts a federal rule with lower standards," our transportation reporter Sean R & D, Kane said in August .
That is more or less what seemed to happen until the White House reportedly began to walk back. The new plan is likely to result in a fuel saving of 1.5 percent every year, "using an industry measure that takes into account both gas consumption and emissions reductions", according to The Wall Street Journal. If things progress, the administration may face legal challenges from California and other states that still want stricter standards.