Trump, California Officials Agree to Hold Talks on Auto Rules

(Bloomberg) -- The Trump administration and California clean-air regulators agreed to hold talks that could avert a messy legal battle over the future of automobile fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards that the administration proposed to weaken earlier this month.

The White House announced the agreement in a joint statement by federal agencies and the California Air Resources Board after a meeting in Washington on Wednesday.

“The administration and CARB agreed to future meetings to discuss technical, legal, and policy issues with the shared goal of achieving one national set of standards for vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions,” the White House said.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s joint plan would freeze fuel efficiency requirements for autos at 37 miles per gallon in 2020 instead of rising to 47 mpg by 2025 under current rules enacted during the Obama administration.

The plan also proposed revoking California’s authority to set greenhouse gas limits for autos that exceed those of the federal government, setting up a conflict between the Trump administration and the nation’s most populous state that risks upsetting the American auto industry.

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