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September 08, 2017

Environmental groups challenge Trump's rollback on air pollution

Trump's rollback on fuel standards means more air pollution for New Jersey, says Sierra Club

A coalition of environmental groups, including the New Jersey Sierra Club, is challenging the Trump administration’s decision to delay tougher fuel economy standards.

Last year, to account for inflation, the Obama Administration, under the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration increased the penalty rate from $5.50 to $14 per tenth of a mile per gallon, as required by Congress under the Inflation Adjustment Act.

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President Donald Trump overturned that decision in March through an executive order, angering environmental groups.

“We are going to court against automakers trying to cheat the system to pollute more into our air. We need higher fines for automakers that do not comply with the law because it puts people’s health at risk,” said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.

“These standards are important because New Jersey has some of the worst air quality in the nation, with most of the pollution coming from automobiles,” Tittel added.

Trump is also attempting to rollback the tailpipe regulations under the Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) standard set by the Obama Administration.

Obama-era regulation would have forced automakers to build passenger cars that achieve an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, compared with about 36 miles per gallon today.