California urges Trump administration to abandon mpg plan

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Nichols: "California will take the necessary actions to protect our people and follow the law." It is not too late to choose a better way. "Photo credit: Bloomberg

WASHINGTON – California's main air regulator urged the Trump administration to abandon a plan to freeze fuel efficiency standards by 2026 as car manufacturers urged national and federal regulators to agree on enlargement national rules.

Mary Nichols, chairman of the California Air Resources Board, asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the EPA to change course, and said the plan to freeze the requirements by 2020 level "decades of progress in clearing cars & # 39; s and trucks turn their backs ".

The Trump administration also wants to revoke California's authority to set its own strict exhaust emission regulations and make mandatory the sale of electric vehicles. California continues to establish its own rules, and 19 states said they would challenge the roll back in court in August.

"California will take the necessary actions to protect our people and to follow the law. It is not too late to choose a better way," Nichols said in a statement announced on Sunday that will be published on Monday in Fresno, California. deliver.

It is the first of three cities where American regulators will hear public reactions to the plan this week. Regulators Friday rejected a request from car manufacturers, 32 American senators and states to extend the comment period by two months.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trading group representing General Motors, Volkswagen AG, Toyota Motor Corp., Ford Motor Co. and to represent others, urged California and the Trump administration to reach an agreement to maintain national emission regulations and to prevent a lengthy legal battle.

The group avoided comments on most of the details in Trump's proposal, but supported unspecified increases in fuel efficiency and incentives for electric vehicles.

The car group says in a testimony released on Sunday for delivery in Fresno that "car manufacturers support continuous improvements in fuel consumption while at the same time keeping priorities such as affordability, safety, jobs and the environment in balance."

The Trump plan would increase US oil consumption by about 500,000 barrels per day in the 2030s, but cut IT costs by more than $ 300 billion.

Nichols' testimony rejected central arguments from central Trump: that in the coming decades the rules will save up to 12,700 motorist lives because they lower the price of new vehicles, encourage people to buy safer newer vehicles faster and cause drivers to drive less because gas slurping vehicles will cost more to work.

"These claims are not only absurd in their faces, they can not be supported by fact," Nichols wrote.

An EPA memo released in August said that some officials thought the plan would increase road fatalities from 2036 to 2045 due to the increasing number of vehicles.