The Latest: White House to seek 1 national mileage standard

July 25, 2019 GMT

DETROIT (AP) — The Latest on California reaching a deal with four automakers over fuel mileage standards (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

A White House spokesman says the Trump administration will move forward with a single national standard for automotive fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions.

Spokesman Judd Deere says the federal government, and not a single state, should set the standard.

The statement comes after four automakers announced a deal with California on increases in gas mileage requirements from 2022 to 2026. BMW, Ford, Honda and Volkswagen signed on to a plan to increase fuel economy 3.7% per year. At least a dozen other states follow California’s rules.

The Trump administration has proposed freezing the standards at 2021 levels, although it has yet to propose a final regulation. It says freezing the standards will stop auto prices from rising due to the cost of new fuel-saving technology. That will make newer cars more affordable so people can take advantage of safety technology.

Experts dispute the government’s theory that freezing the standards will make roads safer.


1 p.m.

A top California official says four automakers who reached a fuel economy and pollution deal with California came to the state with the proposal.

California Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols says the state hopes others will join them, and Gov. Gavin Newsom says they’re reaching out to other automakers.

State officials say they haven’t heard from the Trump administration since February.

Ford, BMW, Volkswagen and Honda reached a deal with California to increase fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards through 2026. The move is an end run around the Trump administration, which wants to freeze the requirements at 2021 levels.


12:40 p.m.

The Trump administration is denouncing a deal between California and four major automakers that would bypass administration rollbacks for mileage standards.

California and the automakers announced Thursday they had struck a deal for years of steady increases in fuel efficiency for cars and light trucks.

The Trump administration has sought to weaken future mileage standards instead, rolling back Obama administration plans for years of steady gains in fuel efficiency.

Environmental Protection Agency spokesman Michael Abboud calls California’s separate deal with the automakers a “PR stunt.”

California says the tougher mileage standards are essential to cutting climate-changing exhaust from tailpipes. Opponents say consumers want bigger cars.

The administration is also seeking to revoke California’s longstanding power to set its own mileage standards. About a dozen other states follow California’s standards.


8:40 a.m.

A person briefed on the matter says four major automakers have reached a secret deal with California to increase gas mileage and greenhouse gas emissions standards.

Ford, BMW, Honda and Volkswagen are parties to the deal with the California Air Resources Board that bypasses the Trump Administration’s plan to freeze the standards at 2021 levels.

The person says that under the deal, fuel economy and corresponding greenhouse gas standards would rise 3.7% per year from 2022 to 2026. The person didn’t want to be identified because details of the deal haven’t been formally released.

The Trump administration had proposed freezing fleetwide new-vehicle fuel economy at 36 miles per gallon.