The Trump administration’s proposed rollback to Obama-era fuel efficiency standards could take months to complete, The New York Times reported Thursday.
Six people familiar with a draft proposal sent to the White House in January told the Times that it had several spelling and numerical errors and that 111 of its sections were labeled “text forthcoming.”
The Trump proposal would freeze the average fuel economy under the Obama administration by more than 30 percent.
Andrew Wheeler, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said at an auto show last year that the Trump administration would roll back Obama-era fuel efficiency standards imposed on the automobile makers in order to “unleash the muscle” on the industry.
However, a cost-benefit analysis of the proposal also reportedly said that consumers would lose more money than they would save from the changes, according to the Times. Aides found that over time, fuel costs would outweigh savings from the lower prices of less efficient cars, the newspaper reported.
EPA spokesman Michael Abboud said that the Obama administration, unlike the Trump administration, had been “hasty” with the fuel efficiency standards that it placed on the auto industry.
“By contrast, the Trump administration has reviewed hundreds of thousands of comments, met with numerous stakeholders, and provided ample amount of time for all involved to voice their opinion on this serious matter,” Abboud said. “The standards the Obama administration sought to finalize are unworkable.”
President Trump has long sought to lower fuel economy standards set by the Obama administration. The Times reported that he has been angered by the delay, and hoping to tout an accomplishment on the issue in Michigan, a key election state.
Changes made under former President Obama strengthen fuel efficiency standards for cars to 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2026. The Trump administration has aimed to freeze the average fuel economy at 37 mpg, a move that the EPA has said would increase petroleum consumption by 500,000 barrels per day.
Last year, four automakers reached an agreement with California to make vehicles averaging about 50 mpg by 2026, evading the possible freeze.