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Trump rollback of mileage standards guts climate change push

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The Trump administration’s rollback of mileage standards Tuesday marks a win for Americans who like their SUVs and pickup trucks, but the government’s own estimates show big costs, too — more Americans dying from air pollution, more climate-damaging tailpipe exhaust and more expense for drivers at the gas pumps.

The administration’s final rule relaxes future mileage standards for years to come, gutting tougher Obama-era standards that were the U.S. government’s single most forceful initiative against climate-changing fossil fuel emissions.

“Great news! American families will now be able to buy safer, more affordable, and environmentally friendly cars with our new SAFE VEHICLES RULE,” President Donald Trump declared in a tweet. “Get rid of those old, unsafe clunkers. Build better and safer American cars and create American jobs. Buy American!” […]

The rollback drew rare public criticism from former President Barack Obama, who largely has remained silent as his successor targets public health, environment and climate regulations from Obama’s time as part of the current administration’s regulation-cutting drive.

“We’ve seen all too terribly the consequences of those who denied warnings of a pandemic. We can’t afford any more consequences of climate denial,” Obama tweeted after Trump’s transportation and Environmental Protection Agency heads made the final rule public. […]

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