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Trump Accelerates Process to Roll Back Fuel Economy Standards

President Trump tours the American Center of Mobility on March 15, 2017, in Ypsilanti Township, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON — President Trump told a gathering of execs and employees in the auto industry today that he intended to put the brakes on the Obama administration’s fuel economy standards.

The previous White House began structuring the clean-air rules in 2011, with a gradual requirement for new passenger vehicles sold in the United States to get at least 36 miles per gallon by 2025.

At the American Center for Mobility in the Detroit area, Trump noted how he met with U.S. auto company executives in the White House during his first week in office.

“They all told me the same thing. They explained that the previous administration promised you a so-called midterm review of the federal fuel efficiency standards. It was necessary because the standards were set far into the future, way, way into the future. If the standards threatened auto jobs, then common sense changes could’ve and should’ve been made,” he said.

“Just days before my inauguration, the previous administration cut short the promised midterm review in an eleventh hour executive action. Today, I am announcing that we are going to cancel that executive action.”

Trump promised he would “restore the originally scheduled midterm review and we are going to ensure that any regulations we have protect and defend your jobs, your factories.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called Trump’s announcement “one of the first steps in an all-out assault by the Trump administration to dismantle important environmental protections – like fuel economy standards — that are saving Americans money, reducing our nation’s dependence on foreign oil, creating jobs, and combating climate change and air pollution.”

“The Trump administration’s decision to roll back fuel economy standards is a mistake and a surefire way to reverse the good progress we’ve made to combat climate change,” Schumer added. “While President Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt may not accept climate science, Americans do and want us to do all we can to limit rising sea levels, ocean acidification, and extreme weather, and ensure the health and safety of our kids and communities is protected.”

The EPA confirmed that they along with the Transportation Department will “revisit” the Obama administration’s rule.

“These standards are costly for automakers and the American people,” Pruitt said. “We will work with our partners at DOT to take a fresh look to determine if this approach is realistic. This thorough review will help ensure that this national program is good for consumers and good for the environment.”