"We're going to spend another year looking at the data in front of us, making sure everything is right, so that come to 2018 we can set standards that are technologically feasible, economically feasible, and allow the industry to grow and create jobs, which is very important to the president", said the official.
The Trump White House says the rules were issued in an 11th hour move by the Obama administration without taking into consideration the realities of the market, the constraints of various actors in the field and consumer expectations.
Originally, regulators mandated that automakers achieve an average 54.5 mpg by 2025, but they relaxed that target to between 50.8 mpg and 52.6 mpg a year ago. The administration has made no decisions on how or if the standards should be revised, the official said. "The current standards helped the auto companies move from bankruptcy to profitability, and there is no reason they can not be met".
"Today I am announcing that we are going to cancel that executive action", said Trump.
Speaking under a banner that reads, "Buy American - Hire American", Trump called automakers to manufacture in the U.S.
"Yet, instead of accelerating this progress, the Trump administration is slamming the brakes", said Anna Aurilio, Environment America's Legislative Director.
President trump is talking about what Obama's administration did just 3 days before leaving office: forcing automakers to make vehicles that get about 50 miles a gallon by 2025. "These standards are improving the fuel efficiency of vehicles across all classes, spurring innovation of electric vehicles and other technologies, cutting oil use, reducing emissions, and saving drivers money in fueling costs". Environmentalists have vowed to sue if the Trump administration weakens them.
Trump also announced that he plans to revisit the Obama administration rule on greenhouse gas emissions that requires automakers to produce auto and truck fleets averaging more than 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.
California and a some states have adopted more stringent clean auto rules than the federal government. California is one of a handful of states that under the Clean Air Act can set its own emission standards due to higher pollution levels.
Environmental groups have grown concerned the administration could take that step in the future, however, after EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt did not pledge to uphold the waiver during his confirmation hearing in January. "I know I gave you a hard time but you have to build them here", Trump said.
The president reminded them that he stopped the unfair Transpacific Partnership trade deal, and started working with auto CEOs to bring more jobs back to the United States.
Instead of asking the government to hike gas prices, automakers have explained that it is hard for them to raise fuel economy average values to the required levels, and those changes involve serious investments.