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US EPA emissions regulations under review

The Trump administration has revealed it will reassess the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and greenhouse gas emissions measures – actioned by former US president Barack Obama – as part of an attempt to uphold high environmental standards but reduce the financial impact on car manufacturers.

Plans to regulate the fuel economy of cars and light trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon (4.3 litres per 100km) by 2025 were instituted by the previous government, but president Donald Trump – with support from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt – has called for a re-examination of the directive. 

Local American carmakers will likely be given a say during the review as it endeavours to determine whether the pre-existing targets are achievable or not.

“The Obama administration broke its promise to automakers and rushed the mid-term evaluation to a premature conclusion earlier this year,” according to a press release from the White House.

Despite the feasibility of a 54.5 mpg goal, regulators determined during last year’s CAFE reassessment that it may not be achievable due to the US market’s preference for SUVs over passenger cars.

This thorough review will help ensure that this national program is good for consumers and good for the environment.

Mr Pruitt said the current targets are “costly for automakers and the American people”, while “a fresh look to determine if this approach is realistic” will be required.

“This thorough review will help ensure that this national program is good for consumers and good for the environment,” he said.

Shortly after the press conference, president Trump also announced plans to return more automotive manufacturing jobs to American soil, tweeting that he “will be going to Detroit, Michigan (love), today for a big meeting on bringing back car production to State & US. Already happening!”

President Trump detailed his intentions in a White House statement, saying “we’re going to make the process much more simple for auto companies, and everyone else who wants to do business in the United States”.

Meanwhile, Ford Motor Company has already moved to add 700 jobs to its Michigan operation after cancelling plans to open a Mexico-based manufacturing plant.

Additionally, General Motors (GM) has revealed its plans to create more than 1000 jobs via a US$1 billion investment, while Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) will spend the same amount to provide another 2000 positions and upgrade two of its factories.

Automotive executives flanking president Trump at the announcement included GM CEO Mary Barra, Ford CEO Mark Fields, Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz and FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne.

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