US to roll back Obama-era vehicle fuel efficiency targets

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Washington, April 3 (IANS) US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt has said the targets of vehicle fuel efficiency set by the previous Barack Obama administration is too stringent and should be revised.

“The Obama Administration’s determination was wrong,” said Pruitt in a statement on Monday, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Obama’s EPA cut the Midterm Evaluation process short with politically charged expediency, made assumptions about the standards that didn’t comport with reality, and set the standards too high.”

The Obama administration required automakers to raise the fuel efficiency to a fleet average of more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025.

Pruitt said EPA will work with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to develop new standards.

Pruitt also questioned California’s authority to write its own standards, which are more stringent than federal levels. California, which accounts for about a third of the nation’s car market, has been writing its own standards since 1970, as part of the state’s efforts to fight air pollution.

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“Cooperative federalism doesn’t mean that one state can dictate standards for the rest of the country. EPA will set a national standard for greenhouse gas emissions that allows auto manufacturers to make cars that people both want and can afford – while still expanding environmental and safety benefits of newer cars,” said Pruitt.

–IANS

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