EPA shifts gears on fuel emission standards

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- “If standards aren't set appropriately, people can’t afford to purchase new vehicles," David Schwietert with the Automobile Alliance said.

Schwietert said a decision by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is a win for the auto industry and car buyers. Pruitt announced Tuesday his plan to change Obama-era auto emissions standards. Under the Obama administration, the EPA required cars and light trucks to average more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025.

“I am determining that those standards are inappropriate and should be revised," Pruitt said.

But Pruitt didn’t say exactly what those revised standards would be. Outside Pruitt’s press conference environmental advocates protested the announcement.

“The automakers and the administration had agreed to these standards, they’re taking us in the wrong direction," Andrea McGimsey with Environment America said.

Christy Goldfuss at Center for American Progress worked for the Obama administration. She said Pruitt’s plan will cost Americans more at the gas pump.

“What we’re doing and saying is we can’t keep up with what the rest of the world is doing. We’re going to see the competition race to those countries, and we’re going to continue to produce cars that can’t go as far on a gallon of gas," Goldfuss said.

The EPA said there will be a public comment period before any new standards are enacted.

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