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Trump lowers fuel efficiency standards, Obama slams him: 'We can't afford climate denial'

The Trump administration is doing everything in its power to undo Obama-era climate policies. This could be devastating for our environment.

Trump lowers fuel efficiency standards, Obama slams him: 'We can't afford climate denial'
image Source: (L) President Donald Trump Signs S.3021. WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 23. (Photo by Ron Sachs - Pool/Getty Images) (R) President Obama Gives Tribute To VP Biden In The State Dining Room. WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 12. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Po

If there is anything United States President Donald Trump is completely dedicated to without question, it is undoing former President Barack Obama's unforgettable legacy. Regardless of whether or not Obama-era policies are good for the nation or not, the Trump administration has pulled at the seams of every policy avenue Obama impacted during his Presidential tenure. First, it was healthcare, now it is fuel efficiency standards. In a shocking move, the federal government has decided to roll back on signature fuel standards instituted in order to combat climate change, the Trump administration announced on Tuesday. Of course, Obama slammed the decision and called for everyone to "demand better of our government," CNN reports.

 



 

The rollback was drafted by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation. The finalized rule was also unveiled on Tuesday. Prior to "the largest deregulatory initiative of this administration," the federal policy called for a five percent increase in fuel economy and emission standards every year. Now, that number has been dropped to 1.5 percent. These newly-introduced standards will ensure fuel efficiency hits 40.4 miles per gallon by vehicle model year 2026, which is about six miles per gallon fewer than the 2012 rule. Needless to say, this weakens Obama's efforts to battle the ongoing climate crisis. More importantly, it will have large consequences on our environment.

 



 

However, this standard is a notch better than the Trump administration's original proposal: freezing the standards definitively. The administration claimed the change "reflects the realities of today's markets." EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler stated, "Our final rule puts in place a sensible one national program that strikes the right regulatory balance that protects our environment, and sets reasonable targets for the auto industry. This rule supports our economy and the safety of American families." Whether the rule will actually benefit the economy is yet to be seen, but one thing is certain - it is devastating for our planet.

 



 

As per an analysis by The New York Times, the finalized rule will allow for almost a billion more tons of carbon dioxide to be released into our atmosphere. Furthermore, it means at least 80 billion more gallons of gasoline will be consumed. While the administration argued that the rule would cut the cost of a new vehicle by a minimum of $1,000, which would encourage Americans to replace their old vehicles with newer ones that are equipped with more advanced safety features, The Washington Post estimates that more citizens are likely to die as a result of increased air pollution.

 



 

Former President Obama, recognizing just how terrible the change will be for the environment, took to Twitter to slam the policy move. "We've seen all too terribly the consequences of those who denied warnings of a pandemic," he wrote. "We can't afford any more consequences of climate denial. All of us, especially young people, have to demand better of our government at every level and vote this fall." His former EPA administrator Gina McCarthy also weighed in on the decision. She affirmed in an official statement, "It will harm the air we breathe, stall progress in fighting the climate crisis, and increase the cost of driving. The only winner from this action is the oil industry, which wants us stuck driving dirty gas guzzlers as long as possible." It is unlikely that this criticism will cause the Trump administration to withdraw the policy change, but as Obama states, it is incredibly important that we demand better of our government.

 



 

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