Mayors are fighting the EPA’s fuel-efficiency rollback. What cities need are fewer cars. - Curbed

Today, the group of 407 mayors formed to protest the U.S.’s exit from the Paris climate accord joined a growing chorus of politicians and environmentalists in denouncing the Trump administration’s plan to roll back vehicle emissions standards—a plan to erase the country’s ambitious fuel-efficiency goals and severely hamper the fight against climate change.

Any leader that wants clean air and healthy communities should clearly oppose this move. But true climate mayors should be working harder to promote policies in their cities that would make it easier for drivers to stay out of their cars in the first place—and most of these mayors aren’t doing it.

Almost half of the country’s population and about a third of the vehicles on the road here are already subject to stricter vehicle emissions standards than current U.S. policy requires. For almost a decade, California has set higher fuel-efficiency standards than the federal government as part of an effort to reduce emissions, and 12 other states have since adopted its standards.

In cooperation with California, the Obama administration set fuel-efficiency goals intended to bring federal standards up to the state’s standards. The auto industry agreed to produce fleets with an average fuel efficiency of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 (which was on target to be one of the most aggressive fuel economy goals in the world).

That goal is what’s being rolled back in today’s announcement from the Environmental Protection Agency, as part of a baseless claim that fuel-efficient cars are more dangerous. Federal fuel-efficiency standards would be frozen in two years, barely cracking 40 miles per gallon. And the exception for California, and the 12 other states, would no longer be allowed. Which is why these states are suing the federal government.

Click here to read the full article: