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By Chris White
Nearly 20 the largest U.S. auto-companies want President Donald Trump to ax a series of fuel efficiency mandates passed by the Obama administration.
Chief executives at General Motors, Ford Motor, Fiat, along with the top North American executives at Toyota Motor, Volkswagen, Honda Motor, Hyundai, Nissan, and others believe former President Barack Obama’s fuel efficiency rules could bleed thousands of jobs if Trump doesn’t repeal them.
The Obama-era rules could “threaten future production levels, putting hundreds of thousands and perhaps as many as a million jobs at risk,” the executives wrote in a letter to Trump on Friday.
Environmentalists believe the rules, which require automakers to double the average fuel efficiency of car and truck fleets to an eye-popping 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, help lessen fuel costs for customers and help the U.S. to fight climate change.
Luke Tonachel of the Natural Resources Defense Council, told reporters that lowering the standards would “cost consumers more, increase our dependence on oil and put Americans at greater risk from a changing climate.”
Auto-dealers, meanwhile, say the rules could cost the consumer dearly. Mark Scarpelli, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association, told an audience at a January auto-dealer conference that the technology needed to improve fuel efficiency could add as much as $3,000 to a car’s price tag.
Trump’s general disdain for regulations and his wish to create an environment for job production caused the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to fast-track the regulations toward the tail-end of the Obama administration.
EPA surprised the auto industry by publishing a report on fuel efficiency standards before its scheduled 2017 release date — critics believe the agency was rushing through rules before Trump took office.
Obama EPA administrator, Gina McCarthy, urged agency employees to finalize as many rules as they can before Obama left the White House.
The EPA and Department of Transportation pushed the new emission standards in 2012. The Obama administration said at the time the resulting rules would slash fuel costs and global warming-causing emissions.
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