Automakers may have their wish granted. Reuters reports President Donald Trump is set to announce a review of vehicle efficiency standards amid pressure from automakers to relax the current rules set in place by the former Obama administration.
The president will reportedly meet with automaker officials this week while visiting an autonomous vehicle testing facility in Michigan. General Motors, Ford, Fiat-Chrysler, Toyota, Daimler and Nissan are all said to be attending the meeting. The president will then deliver a speech to auto workers, according to the report.
Automakers have stated the upcoming efficiency regulations are simply out of touch with what the American consumer is craving, as the market shifts to more SUVs and pickups. The current regulations, which apply to the years 2022 through 2025, call for a fleet average of more than 50 MPG, up from 27.5 MPG in 2010. Automakers argue they need more flexibility to meet these rules as gas prices stay low across the U.S.; automakers have also stated the rules would be too expensive and lead to job losses.
Environmentalists who support the regulations reiterate they will reduce greenhouse gasses and fuel costs, saving $1.7 trillion total fuel costs over the life of the vehicles and cost the auto industry about $200 billion over 13 years.
It could be a messy review, though, as California continues to pave its own way regarding efficiency and emissions. The review, and potential change to the rules and regulations, could quickly become a states’ rights issue. Democratic state attorneys have already threatened to sue should the federal government attempt to overturn its own regulations.