- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 21, 2019

President Trump slammed “politically correct” automobile companies Wednesday for moving to bypass the administration’s upcoming plan on fuel economy standards and joining California in adhering to stricter emissions rules.

“My proposal to the politically correct Automobile Companies would lower the average price of a car to consumers by more than $3000, while at the same time making the cars substantially safer,” the president tweeted. “Engines would run smoother. Very little impact on the environment! Foolish executives!”

The administration is preparing to issue the biggest single deregulatory rule of Mr. Trump’s presidency, creating one federal standard for fuel economy and rescinding a 2012 Obama administration rule that required automakers to raise the average mileage standard of new cars and trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Thirteen states have joined California in pledging to move toward that stricter standard.

Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW have agreed to adhere to the California standard; The New York Times reported that German automaker Mercedes-Benz plans to join them.

California is expected to sue the administration over the new rule. The administration’s position is that the federal government has sole authority over auto design and safety standards.

Automakers are counting on selling a certain number of electric vehicles to help them meet the higher fuel economy standards, but critics say electric vehicles simply aren’t selling well enough in the U.S. to meet manufacturers’ expectations for overall fleet mileage standards.

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