White House to meet automakers, California on fuel efficiency rule

Source: By David Shepardson, Reuters • Posted: Monday, June 18, 2018

WASHINGTON, June 14 (Reuters) – White House officials will have a new round of meetings with an automakers trade group and California’s “clean air” agency next week before unveiling a proposal to reverse rules aimed at increasing fuel efficiency, participants said on Thursday.

The rules, negotiated with automakers by President Barack Obama’s administration in 2011, aimed to double average fleet-wide fuel efficiency to about 50 miles (80 km) per gallon by 2025 and included significant annual increases in automaker requirements.

President Donald Trump administration’s proposed rule, expected to be made available for public comment later in June or July, will include a series of alternatives but the preferred alternative will be to freeze requirements at 2020 levels, officials said.

The White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, part of the Office of Management and Budget, will meet separately on Tuesday with the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The trade group represents General Motors Co, Volkswagen AG , Toyota Motor Corp and other major companies.

Reuters on May 31 reported the U.S. Transportation Department had submitted a proposal to the White House for review along with the Environmental Protection Agency that would back freezing requirements at 2020 levels through 2026 and would bar California from setting stricter standards than the federal government.

U.S. Senator Tom Carper has said a draft shows the administration’s preferred alternative would result in Americans using 206 billion more gallons of gasoline through 2050 versus the current standards. (Reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Grant McCool)