The Environmental Protection Agency will overturn the Obama administration’s tough new requirements to boost fuel efficiency and cut greenhouse gases from passenger cars, multiple news agencies reported on Monday.
The Trump administration was widely expected to announce that it would scale back the standards for model-year 2022-25 cars and trucks finalized under President Barack Obama. On Monday, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said the agency will revise the rules, Reuters reported, citing EPA spokesperson Liz Bowman.
Pruitt did not offer details about the scope of the revision. The so-called corporate average fuel economy, or CAFE standards, are currently set to jump to about 50 miles per gallon by 2025, presenting an engineering challenge to the U.S. automotive industry.
The decision on Monday sets up a potential legal battle with the state of California, which has vowed to stick by its stringent targets to slash planet-warming carbon emissions from tailpipes.
Some industry watchers warn the move could split the U.S. car market in two, with California and a dozen other states keeping the higher standards in place and the rest of the nation following the federal government’s lead.
California has a waiver that allows the state to implement tougher fuel efficiency standards. The fate of that long-standing special treatment under President Donald Trump remains a subject of speculation.