The Trump regime formally announced this morning that they plan to roll back Obama-era fuel efficiency standards that require cars and trucks to achieve a certain mileage per gallon of gasoline in future years.
A group of 18 states and the District of Columbia led by California have already announced their intention to challenge the rollback in court.
The administration billed the rollback it announced on Thursday, which would also revoke California’s authority to set its own strict vehicle emissions rules, as a way to lower auto prices for consumers. Critics said it would accelerate climate change and increase fuel prices.
The 19 states, and Washington D.C, announced what is likely to be a legal showdown over the proposal. [...]
The states that have adopted California’s emission rules together make up about one third of the U.S. auto market.
The idea that they want to roll back fuel efficiency standards to save consumers money would hold more weight if Trump weren't also planning to impose tariffs on cars and cart parts, but that's far from the most fantastical arguments the Trump regime is using against the standards.
According to the Associated Press, the Trump regime intends to argue that gas-guzzling vehicles are safer.
The Trump administration says people would drive more and be exposed to increased risk if their cars get better gas mileage, an argument intended to justify freezing Obama-era toughening of fuel standards. [...]
It contends that freezing the mileage requirements at 2020 levels would save up to 1,000 lives per year.
At the same time, the draft says that people will drive less if their vehicles get fewer miles per gallon, lowering the risk of crashes.
Even if you accept this argument at face value -- and I think you'd be a fool to do so -- theoretically saving 1,000 lives per year is a drop in the bucket compared to the millions threatened by climate change. And climate change doesn't just threaten lives; it also threatens business and property. The cost of doing nothing about climate change is infinitely higher than engineering cars that get 5 more miles per gallon of gas.
For their part, automakers say they'd like to see the Trump regime and the states reach a settlement, but if that happens I'll eat my hat.
Even if the Trump regime ultimately prevails in this fight, I believe it will only hasten the adoption of electric vehicles that are eventually going to replace all internal-combustion vehicles anyway.