WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration plans to announce on Tuesday it is finalizing its effort to roll back Obama era vehicle emissions rules and will mandate average annual increases in fuel efficiency standards of 1.5 percent through 2026, three people briefed on the matter told Reuters.
In August 2018, the Trump administration proposed freezing fuel economy standards at 2020 levels through 2026, reversing Obama-era standards that called for about 5 percent annual increases.
The new rules, which must be finalized by April 1 in order to revise the 2022 model year requirements, is a jump over the initial proposal but will still result in significantly lower overall fleet fuel efficiency, environmentalists said.
Environmental Protection Agency chief Andrew Wheeler said on Twitter on Monday that the final rule will raise U.S. fleet fuel economy, reduce air pollution and "make new vehicles more affordable."
California and 22 other U.S. states plan to challenge the rewrite. They previously challenged the Trump administration’s decision to revoke California’s authority to set stiff vehicle tailpipe emissions rules.