Experts question logic of Trump administration’s ‘low gas mileage saves lives’ claim | News Sponsored by TrumpShop.net

Aug 05, 18
Experts question logic of Trump administration’s ‘low gas mileage saves lives’ claim | News Sponsored by TrumpShop.net

The Trump administration claimed Thursday that in addition to lowering the price of vehicles, it can save 12,700 lives by weakening Obama-era emissions standards for cars and trucks. But that estimate relies on assumptions that have been questioned by experts in and out of the federal government. The proposal would freeze tailpipe pollution standards at an average of 37 miles per gallon in 2020, instead of raising them to more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025 as set under President Obama. Half of the deaths the Trump plan says it would prevent are based on the idea that making new cars more efficient would make them cheaper to drive, because people wouldn’t have to spend as much on gas. That would lead people to spend more time on the road and increase the potential for fatalities. According to the Trump administration’s logic, cars that burn more gas and are more expensive to drive will be used significanty less, and so will lead to 6,340 fewer deaths. The other half of deaths that would come from sticking with Obama-era standards, according to the Trump fuel efficiency proposal released Thursday, would fall into two other basic categories. The first are linked to the argument that technologies to make vehicles more efficient are expensive, which will drive up new car prices, reduce sales, and keep some motorists behind the wheel of older cars that are less safe. The second chunk is more mysterious, and has become a particular source of wonky debate and speculation among the small group of experts trying to digest the dense tables and thousands of pages of analysis that underpin the new fuel standards proposal, which is one of the Trump administration’s most aggressive regulatory rollbacks. Jeff Alson, a senior engineer who spent a decade working on the emissions standards at the Environmental Protection Agency, says this second category in particular, even with numerous unknowns, points to major shortcomings in the administration’s proposal. That category is based on a “wacky”-seeming set of numbers that suggest an argument he had never encountered in four decades of environmental work with the agency, Alson said. The

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