Trump rolls back Obama fuel economy rule, increasing emissions during a climate crisis

by Sean O’Kane, The Verge 


President Trump has reversed an Obama-era policy that made new cars more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly, but faces lawsuits and pushback from various environmental groups and the State of California

  • Under the new rule, automakers will now have to increase the average fuel economy of their new cars by 1.5 percent every year through their 2026 model year lineup compared to the previous by 5 percent from Obama’s presidency
  • Using data from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reports that the previous Obama-era standard has already helped cut carbon dioxide emissions by half a billion metric tons, and saved drivers $86 billion in fuel costs
  • The new standard is expected to release one billion metric tons more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, increase gasoline consumption by around 80 billion gallons, and oil consumption by 2 billion barrels
  • The Trump administration argues that lowering the fuel economy standard will make cars more affordable by reducing the upfront cost of a new vehicle by around $1,000, leading car buyers to buy newer, safer cars
    • However, average new vehicle prices have risen in the US because automakers now heavily favor selling more expensive SUVs and trucks
    • Some experts disagree that these new fuel standards will save consumers money. New analysis shows that even if gas prices were cheap for the next three decades, the cost of ownership for the car is still high
  • The State of California has been against the new fuel standards and has made deals with Volkswagen, Ford, Honda, and BMW to commit to 3.7 percent year-over-year increases in average fuel economy while General Motors, Toyota, and Fiat Chrysler filed support for the Trump administration to revoke California’s authority to set its own vehicle emissions standards

The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California campaign includes supporting clean mobility, including a phase-out of all gas-powered vehicles.

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Uncompetitive: Canada and the US have worst vehicle fuel economy standards in the world

by Blake Shaffer, The Conversation

Usually when Canada is at the top of an international ranking, it’s cause for celebration. Not this time.

A recent report by the International Energy Agency shows that Canada’s vehicles have the highest average fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions per kilometre driven. They are also the largest and the second heaviest in the world.

In short: Canadian vehicles are big, heavy and guzzle a lot of gasoline. For a country that is championing its climate action, how do we square these facts?

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If you want a low-emission car


If you are considering getting a new car and are wondering which will give you the most greenhouse gas emissions reduction for the money, a great new tool is available to help you with your choice. 

Students at UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science and Management have just developed a Clean Car Calculator. This online tool enables consumers to compare any two fuel-efficient vehicles on the market. The tool includes a financial and environmental analysis as well as recommendations for other vehicles to consider.

One of the most valuable aspects of the calculator is that it determines how long one must own a more efficient vehicle for it to make economic sense in fuel savings.

The calculator covers a wide variety of vehicles – not just hybrids and electric cars.

   – Barry Vesser