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Trump’s Weaker Fuel Efficiency Rules May Lead to a Dead End

Last April, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Andrew Wheeler, proclaimed at an auto show here that he would soon roll back President Barack Obama’s stringent fuel efficiency standards. That, the administration contends, would unleash the muscle of the American auto industry. It would also virtually wipe away the government’s biggest effort to combat climate change.

Nearly a year later, the rollback is nowhere near complete … people familiar with the documents described them as “Swiss cheese,” sprinkled with glaring numerical and spelling errors …

The cost-benefit analysis showed that consumers would lose more money than they would gain. … And, by allowing more pollution into the air, the rule would measurably contribute to more premature deaths from lung and respiratory illnesses, piling on more societal and economic costs.

Massaging the numbers or the models used to produce them would only open the rule to legal attack when it is inevitably challenged in court. “They are trying to make the data dance the way this administration wants it to dance,” said John M. DeCicco, an expert on transportation technology and emissions policy at the University of Michigan. But, he added, “the data and the models don’t lie.”

Read the full story at The New York Times.