It is hardly surprising the Trump administration has decided to freeze Obama-era fuel requirements but their given reason for doing so is especially ridiculous, even by their standards.
The move, described as "one of the biggest regulatory rollbacks of the Trump presidency" by The Washington Post, will involve maintaining fuel-efficiency targets from 2020 for six years. That means the average mileage per gallon (mpg) will stick around 35, instead of rising to 50mpg by 2025 as they would need to under the current guidelines.
The administration has been unabashedly pro-industry in its policy decisions so far and the change to fuel standards may be welcome news to the oil industry, as the Union of Concerned Scientists has already pointed out. But that is not the reason they have given for the freeze. Oh no. The policy has been named the “Safer and Affordable Fuel Efficient Vehicles Rule" and the White House wants it implemented because, you know, health and safety.
According to extracts seen by reporters at The Associated Press (AP), the proposal claims tougher regulations on fuel (as per the Obama-era regulation) would offer more mileage for your buck and so encourage people to drive their cars more frequently. This, it says, will put people at a greater risk of crashing. In fact, it goes on to add, relaxing fuel standards as proposed could save as many as 1,000 lives every single year. Er, right.