Under Obama, the EPA estimated that the mileage rules would save Americans $1.7 trillion in fuel costs while reducing climate-changing fuel burning by 12 billion barrels of oil by 2025. Despite their complaints, automakers have achieved mandated improvements in fuel efficiency in the past, and some vehicles meet the 2025 target already.
In his speech, he painted Detroit and its auto industry as a sector strangled by government regulations, despite an Obama administration effort to save manufactures from a bankruptcy crisis, a push that created thousands of new jobs.
Under Trump, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been instructed to review Obama's fuel efficiency standards in a move which has been championed by automakers ever since Trump was elected to office.
While just one of many terrible things the Trump administration is doing, reversing legislation that protects the environment is perhaps the worst aspect of this government. "The current standards helped the auto companies move from bankruptcy to profitability, and there is no reason they can not be met".
The new administration's move, which had been sought by the large vehicle manufacturers, coincides with a visit by the president to MI to meet industry executives and workers. "After all, these decisions impact the more than 7 million Americans dependent on autos for employment, as well as the driving public seeking affordable transportation".
"Were going to work on the CAFE standards so you can make cars in America again", he told a cheering crowd of auto industry workers.
The EPA finalized the rules this January (a year ahead of schedule, as Wired noted) in its midterm review, with the agency saying that "automakers are well positioned to meet the standards at lower costs than previously estimated". People tend to buy gas guzzlers when fuel is cheap, so low gas prices make it hard for automakers to sell as numerous efficient vehicles as they need to in order to meet the regulations. So Trump has an opportunity to review the rules and potentially cancel them.
In 2012, California, the most populous USA 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.
California and a some states have adopted more stringent clean vehicle rules than the federal government. Because of the state's smoggy skies, Congress gave California a "waiver", allowing it to set stricter pollution standards than the rest of the nation.
"We're going to help the companies, and they're going to help you", Trump said after touring an automotive testing facility near Detroit. Europe, China and Japan have all adopted ambitious fuel-economy goals for 2020, so if USA manufacturers hope to compete they will have to continue developing higher-mileage vehicles or cede world markets to foreign competitors.