Since Donald Trump took office as the 45th President of the United States of America, he has set to work, just as fast as he could, undermining the legacy of Barack Obama, his predecessor. Some have suggested that this is partly out of spite, while others have said that it is due to the fact that many of the democrat orders and ‘rules’ were not only unpopular with voters, but also unprofitable for the American people.
Earlier today, the Trump administration began to make moves that will undermine yet another piece of the former president’s legacy. This time, they were taking aim at the ‘fuel economy standards’ that the former president pushed. By undermining these arbitrary ‘rules’ targeting car manufacturers, the Trump administration is taking aim at a portion of the ‘EPA’s’ legacy that could have cost the American people more than $500 billion in the future.
While it seems that almost everything the last administration did was to control the American people, President Trump is undoing that insanity, one piece at a time. Of course, shortly after the move, 20 attorney generals vowed to ‘fight’ the horrible idea of saving lives, which the move will establish.
Just yesterday, President Trump’s White House also announced major changes to health plans, which will (hopefully) provide consumers with more choices, and with cheaper, short-term health insurance that they can buy if they need it.,
The fuel efficiency standard freeze was proposed by both the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency, as the first step in setting new standards for vehicles bearing model years 2021 through 2026.
This plan will freeze the Obama-era requirements currently set to take effect for vehicle models after 2020.
According to Elaine Chao, the Secretary of Transport and the wife of senior Kentucky Senator (and Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell, there are “compelling reasons” for a new rulemaking process concerning the fuel economy standards that Barack Obama’s administration set.
Chao said that more realistic standards will contribute to a healthy economy by bringing “newer, safer, cleaner, and more fuel-efficient” vehicles to market in the United States.
She also said that they (likely meaning the DOT) looked forward to hearing public comments on the matter.
The Trump administration stated it wanted to revoke the authority that states like California have to set their own, often tougher and more stringent, mileage standards, independent of federal standards.
In a statement, Wheeler said that the proposal they were currently considering was attempting to strike a regulatory balance to create a 50-state solution that will help more Americans afford newer vehicles that are safer and that pollute less.
He continued on to declare that more realistic standards could “save lives,” while also continuing to improve the environment.
The EPA, along with the National Highway Safety Administration, said that the Trump White House supported freezing the mileage standard changes after 2020, but was going to seek public comment now.
They are seeking public comments on the proposal from the administration, as well as others, including maintaining the proposed Barack Obama fuel standards as they are.
According to the Transportation Department, the Obama standards, which are still currently in place, have been a factor in the continuously rising costs of new cars, to an average of $35,000 or more for a new vehicle.
The administration and DOT maintain that this is a price point that many average American families cannot afford, and that it is simply ‘out of reach.’
The DOT also said that maintaining the Obama-era standards as laid down in 2012 would add $2,340 to the cost of purchasing a new car, and would add more than $500 billion in costs to the economy over the course of the next 50 years.
President Trump’s White House pointed out that, in their opinion, the standards were having a negative impact on highway safety.
He said that people not buying newer, more safe cars could translate into higher incidences of fatalities and serious injuries on the road during collisions.
The DOT and EPA estimated that changing the rule and loosening the standards could save as many as 1,000 lives annually.
Shortly after the announcement, New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, a democrat, and 20 other AG’s from around the country, threatened to take the Trump administration to court, claiming that “freezing or weakening” the fuel efficiency standards were hazardous to the health of the citizenry.
The Trump administration just proposed rolling back limits on car pollution. If the rule is finalized, our coalition of 20 AGs will go to court to put the brakes on this reckless and illegal plan. https://t.co/zFyCld0rPN pic.twitter.com/SphATmZuLH
— NY AG Underwood (@NewYorkStateAG) August 2, 2018
Fred Krupp, the president of the Environmental Defense Fund, had similar complaints, and castigated the plan.
It will be interesting to see what, exactly, 21 Attorneys General from various left-leaning states in the nation can do to tell the federal government what standards it has to implement.
Even though the economy seems to be on the rise, new cars are still expensive, prohibitively so for some Americans. If abandoning fuel efficiency standards, or lowering them to realistic numbers, can make Americans safer, isn’t that worth it?