Speed Reads

goodbye clean air

EPA says it is relaxing fuel efficiency standards for vehicles

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday it plans to roll back emissions standards for cars and trucks set under former President Barack Obama, claiming the regulations present "challenges for auto manufacturers due to feasibility and practicability."

As the regulations stand now, new vehicles must get 36 miles per gallon by 2025, but those standards are "too high," the EPA said. The agency is working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to come up with new standards. It's unclear how this will play out in California — the state sets its own pollution and gas mileage standards, currently the same as federal guidelines, with about 12 other states following California's lead.

While automakers approve of the move, environmentalists argue it will increase pollution and make it more expensive to fill up vehicles. "No one in America is eager to buy a car that gets worse gas mileage and spews more pollution from its tailpipe," Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp told The Associated Press. "Designing and building cleaner, more cost-efficient cars is what helped automakers bounce back from the depths of the recession and will be key to America's global competitiveness in the years ahead."