Proposal to roll back fuel economy standards could reach White House next week

May 17, 2018

The U.S. Department of Transportation could make its proposal to soften new car fuel economy standards public by the end of the month, two officials briefed on the matter said Tuesday.

The Transportation Department's proposal, which Reuters says could reach President Donald Trump's desk next week, is said to shelve Obama-era standards and freeze 2020 fuel economy standards through 2026.

Even before being made public, the plan has encountered considerable backlash. More than a dozen states signed onto a lawsuit filed by California's attorney general, although last week the president signaled an "openness to a discussion with California on an expedited basis."

California agreed to adopt the Obama administration's rules that were set in 2011 after decades of being granted an EPA waiver to require stricter standards than other states on some pollutants.On Tuesday, a group of environmental including the Environmental Defense Found, Center for Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club and Union for Concerned Scientists also filed suit.

Automakers are wanting the White House and California to maintain a national standard that would eliminate the need for further long legal battles and cause them to work with two different sets of standards.

Both automakers and administration officials say that more talks with California are expected. The administration stated that talks with California will not stop or delay the rollout of the Transportation Department’s proposal.

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