| WASHINGTON, March 15
WASHINGTON, March 15 President Donald Trump will
announce the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will revive a
review of the feasibility of strict fuel efficiency standards
through 2025, but will not seek to withdraw California's
authority to set its own vehicle rules, a White House official
said late on Tuesday.
Reuters reported on Monday the administration planned to
announce the review on Wednesday as Trump heads to Michigan,
home of the U.S. auto industry.
A White House official briefing reporters said the Trump
administration will spend the next year working on the review to
determine if the 2022-2025 model-year rules are feasible. The
administration has made no decisions on how or if the standards
should be revised.
But the Trump administration is not picking an immediate
fight with California, which has long drawn the ire of
automakers for setting more aggressive environmental vehicle
rules, including requiring zero emission cars.
In 2012, California, the most populous U.S. state, agreed to
harmonize its vehicle emissions rules with Obama administration
rules that were aimed at doubling average fleetwide fuel
efficiency to 54.5 mpg by 2025. Thirteen other states have
adopted California rules that account for about 40 percent of
U.S. vehicle sales.
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. The administration official did not rule
out a potential effort to restrict California's authority at a
future date but said the White House hoped to work
collaboratively with the state on the review.
Securing America's Energy Future (SAFE), a non-partisan
group of energy advocates and retired military leaders, urged
the federal government, California and others to work together.
"There's no reason for environmentalists, automakers and
conservatives to risk a nuclear war over these rules, which will
result in zero progress for all sides,” said SAFE's chief
executive, Robbie Diamond.
In Michigan, Trump will meet with chief executives from
General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co and Fiat Chrysler
Automobiles NV and top U.S. executives from
Toyota Motor Corp, Daimler AG and others, and speak
EPA had had until April 2018 to decide whether the standards
were feasible under a "midterm review," but moved up its
decision to a week before President Barack Obama left office in
Automakers argue the vehicle emissions rules will impose
significant costs and are out of step with consumer preferences.
They say they need more flexibility to meet the rules amid low
Environmentalists say the rules reduce fuel costs and
greenhouse gases, and they have vowed to sue if the Trump
administration weakens them.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Leslie Adler)