US president Donald Trump is expected to roll back another Obama administration policy with an announcement of a review of fuel economy rules on Wednesday (15 March).
Reuters sources said Trump was scheduled to visit an autonomous vehicle testing facility in Detroit and meet with chief executive officers of several automakers who want the rules changed.
The news agency's sources said the administration had decided to review the 2022 to 2025 vehicle emissions rules, retained in the final days of the Obama regime.
General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEOs will meet the president in Ypsilanti Township along with officials from Japanese and German automakers, including Toyota Motor, Reuters said. It reported earlier BMW's CEO would meet Trump this week as part of a delegation accompanying German chancellor Angela Merkel to the US for talks on trade and other issues with the president.
Reuters said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had been given until April 2018 to decide whether the standards were feasible under a "midterm review" but moved up its decision to a week before Obama left office in January.
Automakers argue the Obama-era vehicle emissions rules, which would raise the fleet average fuel efficiency to more than 50 miles per [smaller US] gallon by 2025 from 27.5 mpg in 2010, would impose significant costs and were not in line with consumer preferences. They say they need more flexibility to meet the rules amid low fuel prices, Reuters noted.
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Reuters reported last week the EPA was considering reversing California's waiver under the Clean Air Act that allows it to set its own vehicle greenhouse gas emissions standards.
In a strongly liberal and pro-environment state, that is likely to lead the new president into a series of legal battles.