In service of the fossil fuel industry, which has donated millions to Trump, the administration is now claiming that fuel efficient cars are a danger to drivers.
The Trump administration is making the ridiculous argument that persuading automakers to make vehicles more fuel efficient will put drivers in danger.
The Associated Press has obtained a draft of an administration proposal seeking to halt fuel efficiency programs put in place by President Barack Obama. The Obama standards would over time lead to cars that get better gas mileage, which would lead to less emissions polluting the environment.
The argument made by the Trump team is that "improvements over time have better longer-term effects simply by not alienating consumers, as compared to great leaps forward."
Getting more efficient cars to consumers — meaning they would spend less on gas — would not "alien[ate] consumers."
The draft also claims that if their cars are inefficient, people will drive less, which will lower the risk of crashes.
They also make the extremely strange case that without the Obama-era fuel standards, new cars will be heavier and therefore safer.
AP notes that experts reject this claim based on evidence that lighter vehicles perform as well or better than older cars in crash tests.
Notably, that is the opposite of what the Trump administration claims.
Giorgio Rizzoni, director of the Center for Automotive Research at Ohio State University, told AP he was "skeptical" of the Trump administration's assumptions. He added, "To say that safety is a direct result of somehow freezing the fuel economy mandate for a few years, I think that’s a stretch."
The absurd argument offered by the Trump administration reflects a mindset that eternally sides with the fossil fuel industry and in favor of polluters.
Those industries have thrown millions of dollars Trump's way, and they've been rewarded with Trump's full-fledged advocacy on their behalf.
For the duration of his presidency, Trump has used his regulatory powers in service of polluters, rather than in favor of citizens and the environment they live in.
Asserting that fuel efficiency is bad for consumers, and possibly even dangerous, is dishonest and deceptive. It reflects a denial of reality that hurts Americans and harms the environment worldwide.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.