Trump loosens auto emissions standards

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Trump loosens auto emissions standards

U.S. President Donald Trump is giving automakers more time to meet stringent auto emissions standards created under former President Barack Obama.

CGTN’s Jessica Stone reports.

Trump loosens auto emissions standards

U.S. President Donald Trump is giving automakers more time to meet stringent auto emissions standards created under former President Barack Obama.

“Today, I am announcing we are going to cancel that executive action,” U.S. President Donald Trump told a crowd gathered at the American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Wednesday.

Back in 2011, Washington reached a deal with the auto industry. Carmakers promised their vehicles could run about 88 kilometers on each gallon of gasoline by 2025.

In exchange, Washington gave the industry a midway review to make sure they could reach the target. But before Obama finished his second term, his administration decided to lock in the targets.

Trump is putting that rule in reverse.

“We are going to restore the originally scheduled midterm review. And we are going to ensure that any regulation we have protect and defend your jobs and your factories,” he said.

Automakers had claimed they would spend more than $200 billion dollars to comply with the targets, potentially endangering more than a million jobs. A group of them met with Trump at the White House back in January, and again, Wednesday.

“What we’ve asked for and what you’ve responded to is to reinstate the review. It’s not a rejection of what we’ve agreed to,” said Ford CEO, Mark Fields.

“We can actually accomplish and do the right thing for the environment… do it more effectively that supports jobs and supports new technologies,” added General Motors CEO, Mary Barra.

But the move comes against the backdrop of remarks from Trump’s pick to lead environmental policy, denying that climate change is man-made.

“So no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see,” EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt told business broadcaster, CNBC.

What’s more, autos have now surpassed power plants as the largest contributors to U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

That leaves global environmentalists concerned that the White House plans to put the brakes on the U.S. promise to reduce emissions under the Paris climate accords.

Trump is scheduled to release his first budget on Thursday. The administration plans to use cuts to the U.S. State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency to offset a $54 billion increase to the U.S. defense budget.

The EPA oversees Washington’s commitment to Paris.