Skip to main content

Common Dreams. Journalism funded by people, not corporations.

There has never been—and never will be—an advertisement on our site except for this one: without readers like you supporting our work, we wouldn't exist.

No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news and opinion 365 days a year that is freely available to all and funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

Our mission is clear. Our model is simple. If you can, please support our Fall Campaign today.

Support Our Work -- No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. Please support our Fall Campaign today.

Cars on highway

"Amid a spiraling health crisis and economic turmoil, Trump is recklessly driving us over a climate cliff," said Dan Becker, director of Safe Climate Campaign. (Photo: Sarah Nichols/Flickr/cc)

Trump to Kneecap Obama-Era Fuel Efficiency Standards, Hurtling Nation 'Toward a More Dangerous Climate'

"Of all the bad things President Trump has done to the environment, this is the worst."

Andrea Germanos

As the nation grapples with the coronavirus outbreak crisis, the Trump administration intends to further threaten public health and advance its attacks on environmental regulations with a new rule neutering Obama-era vehicle mileage standards, according to multiple news reports Monday.

The administration is expected to announce the new rule Tuesday.

The Obama administration in 2012 ordered automakers to have a 5% annual increase in fuel efficiency for model years beginning in 2021‚ a standard that would bring the equivalent of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.  The Trump administration will significantly weaken that standard and instead require a 1.5% annual increase, putting the 2025 at 40 mpg.

"Of all the bad things President Trump has done to the environment, this is the worst," said Dan Becker, director of Safe Climate Campaign.

"Amid a spiraling health crisis and economic turmoil, Trump is recklessly driving us over a climate cliff," Becker added.

As Bloomberg reported,

The final regulation's release will conclude a years-long effort to dismantle the ambitious standards, which supporters have called the most effective policy ever enacted to reduce greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change.

The expected regulatory change drew criticism from climate experts who said it spells bad news for consumers and the planet alike.

"This is an enormous license for car companies to lock in and profit from decades more pollution from SUVs," meteorologist and journalist Eric Holthaus said on Twitter Monday. "This rule change alone is expected to result in a billion tons of needless CO2."

Ken Kimmell, president of Union of Concerned Scientists, concurred.

"This new rule leaves the country worse off. In the near term, it's a massive transfer of tens of billions of dollars from drivers to oil companies, as consumers will spend more on gasoline due to less efficient cars. It also cedes American leadership in vehicle manufacturing, putting the automakers at risk in a global market. In the long term, it's even worse—a deliberate decision to steer us at high speed toward a more dangerous climate," said Kimmell.

"To add insult to injury, the Trump administration has barely even attempted to justify this new rule, basing its decision on flimsy or outright false arguments," he continued. "The stated rationale defies common sense, science, and the public interest. This new rule will face a difficult test in the federal courts, which should have no patience for this kind of shoddy reasoning."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Low-Income Americans to Congress: 'I Am the Cost of Cutting Build Back Better'

"We need to stop asking, 'How much does a bold Build Back Better agenda cost?' and instead ask, 'How much does it cost not to Build Back Better?'" said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II.

Kenny Stancil ·


With Fossil Fuel Subsidies Intact, Climate Groups Decry BBB Framework as 'Failure of Leadership'

"This spending package is not enough to prove that the U.S. is a global leader in a world in a climate crisis," said one critic.

Julia Conley ·


'Progressives Won't Leave Working Families Behind': Jayapal Stands Ground Against Pelosi-Biden

"We've been clear since the spring: the infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better Act pass together—and that hasn't changed."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Too Bad We Can't Tax Egos': Elon Musk Blasted for Attack on Billionaire Tax

"This country made him rich," said one critic. "He owes us."

Julia Conley ·


'Hold the Line': Progressives Push to Block Vote on Weaker Bill Without Final Text of Build Back Better

"By holding firm on keeping the Build Back Better Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill firmly linked, progressives are giving their colleagues in the Senate the space and the leverage to negotiate the strongest package possible."

Common Dreams staff ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo