Trump Administration Weakens Battle Against Climate Change by Releasing New Fuel Efficiency Standards

by Anshul Dash

The Trump Administration recently released new fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks, and these new standards are benefitting the oil and gas industry. It is because of these standards that the fight against climate change has weakened due to the increased use of oil and gas for fuel.

However, these new standards, which come from the Environmental Agency and the Transportation Department, will most likely be debated upon by environmental groups and states with stricter standards, such as California. In fact, California will be leading the challenge into bringing these standards to court.

The final rule is actually a less severe of the one the administration originally planned. Instead of proposing zero improvements in fuel efficiency in coming years, it would require automakers to increase fuel economy across their fleets by 1.5% a year, with a goal of achieving an average of about 40 miles per gallon by 2026. That’s still a major departure from current rules, which mandate annual increases of 5%, reaching an average of 54 mpg by 2025.

It is now predicted that approximately 900 million more tons of carbon dioxide will be released under the new rule than under the Obama-era standards. This is the result of less efficient cars burning an additional 78 billion gallons of fuel.

Environmentalists and public health advocates said the change would likely contribute to thousands of premature deaths and asthma attacks. They criticized the decision to make the new standards final in the midst of a global pandemic, arguing that it should not be implemented during a time when thousands of people are gravely ill and the nation’s economy is going downhill.

The new standards will apply nationwide. Although California has historically set its own tougher car pollution rules, the Trump administration removed those rules last year. California and many of the other states that have adopted its clean-car standards have sued the administration because of this change. This issue likely won’t be resolved until next year at the earliest.

The implementation of these rules has caught the attention of many environmentalists nationwide, and now they want to debate upon the disastrous effects of the new rule and how it can catalyze climate change. These new standards add more pressure to the already unstable US economy and the overall public health. It is already quite difficult to deal with climate change with the coronavirus pandemic at its peak, and implementing the new rule puts the US at an even more difficult position.