Trump administration freezing fuel efficiency penalties

US President Donald Trump steps off Air Force One upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on July 12, 2019. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP)

The Trump administration said late on Friday it was issuing final rules to suspend a 2016 Obama administration regulation that more than doubled penalties for automakers failing to meet fuel efficiency requirements.

Congress in 2015 ordered federal agencies to adjust civil penalties for failure to meet Corporate Average Fuel Economy requirements to account for inflation, and in response, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued rules to eventually raise fines to $14 from $5.50 for every 0.1 mile per gallon of fuel that new cars and trucks consume in excess of the required standards. Automakers protested the hike, saying it could increase industry compliance costs by $1 billion annually. After a group of states and environmental groups filed suit, the Trump administration began the process in 2018 of formally undoing the Obama regulation.

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