WASHINGTON -- Regulators have sent proposals to roll back automobile efficiency standards to the White House for review, a key step in what’s likely to be a contentious debate over the future of a signature Obama-era environmental regulation.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration submitted its proposal for new Corporate Fuel Economy Standards to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget on Wednesday. Details were not disclosed in the brief notice that was posted Thursday on OMB’s website.
The proposal was jointly developed with the Environmental Protection Agency.
“Until this process is complete, we will not provide comment on rules undergoing interagency review,” the EPA said in an email.
A leaked draft of NHTSA’s proposals for the new standards recommended freezing mileage requirements at 37 miles per gallon from 2020 through 2026. That would be a significant reduction from the roughly 50-mpg fleet average by 2025 targeted by the current rules enacted by the Obama administration.
The EPA will also propose revisions to its greenhouse gas standards for cars and light trucks alongside NHTSA’s fuel economy revisions.
Automakers have urged the Trump administration to strike a deal with California regulators, which also regulate tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions and whose rules are currently aligned with California. The carmakers worry a lengthy fight over the standards between Washington and Sacramento and roil their businesses.