President Trump is walking back a major effort to slow global warming.

President Trump rollback of stringent automobile mileage and emission standards torpedoes the biggest single step any nation has taken to fight the climate crisis.

In dispensing with Obama-era rules in the name of imaginary regulatory reform, he will damage the health of the planet, our pocketbooks and even the very auto industry he thinks will benefit.

The Obama administration set the standards in 2012 to cut emissions and improve gas mileage roughly 5 percent a year from 2021 to 2025. Thirteen automakers agreed to them.

Now Mr. Trump's decision will slash required fuel-efficiency improvements to just 1.5 percent a year, beginning in 2021, but that won't even be achieved because of various credits automakers can receive for making vehicles that run on natural gas or employ more efficient air-conditioning refrigerants - even if emissions aren't reduced.

The 2025 new-vehicle fleet would average 31.8 real-world m.p.g., compared with 37.5 m.p.g. under the rules Mr. Trump is eviscerating, according to Consumer Reports.

Under the Trump plan, which is almost certain to face a court challenge by states and environmental groups, including ours, by 2040, vehicles will burn 142 billion additional gallons of gasoline and emit as much as 1.5 billion times more tons of pollutants that warm the planet, an Environmental Defense Fund analysis found.

That's the equivalent of the pollution of 68 coal plants operating for five years, according to the E.D.F.

These numbers certainly are not good for consumers, who will pay about $3,200 more in fuel costs for a 2026 model year vehicle than they would under the the Obama rules, according to Consumer Reports. Or for the climate.

Or for people. The Trump administration ignored long-established health threats that gas guzzlers pose.  The lung-damaging soot produced from the refining of additional gasoline to power those vehicles will lead to an estimated 18,900 premature deaths by midcentury, the E.D.F. concluded, using the government's modeling tools.

The administrations data supporting the new rule indicates that fuel efficiency for all vehicles would improve without the more-stringent standards.

Moreover, the cost of clean-car technology would discourage Americans from replacing less-safe older cars and trucks, the administration argues.

But vehicles made with safe, light, high-strength aluminum, advanced engines and improved aerodynamics deliver greater gas mileage and save consumers thousands more at the pump over the life of the vehicle than they add to sticker prices.

The Trump rollback will reverse that balance sheet, increasing net costs per average new vehicles by $2,100. Consumer Reports calculated.

The honor and serving of the latest global operational research on Climate Change, Laws and Policy, continues. The World Students Society thanks authors Daniel F.Becker, James Gerstenzang. 


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