DETROIT—Americans still favor strengthening U.S. fuel economy standards, even as the Trump administration moves to roll back light vehicle emissions rules enacted under President Obama.
A study by Autolist.com indicates that fewer than a third of consumers support efforts to scale back corporate average fuel economy rules.
Autolist, which surveyed 1,132 current car shoppers after the administration's proposal was announced, found that 41 percent of respondents disagree with the proposal—while 30 percent are on the fence.
The Trump administration this month formally proposed freezing federal fuel economy standards for new light vehicles at 2020 model year levels, rather than pushing for incremental improvements through the 2025 model year as required under the Obama-era plan in effect. The new proposal would also rescind California's ability to establish stricter emissions standards than the federal government.
According to the study, half of the respondents said states such as California should be allowed to establish stricter standards, while 29 percent said a state shouldn't have the authority. The rest were neutral.
The study found no relationship between the states where the respondents reside and their opinion about emissions or fuel efficiency standards, Autolist said.
If established, the proposal would overturn Obama-era fuel efficiency standards, a pillar of the former administration's climate change efforts, which call for an auto maker's new car and light truck fleet to average nearly 50 mpg in the 2025 model year.
After the rules were finalized in January 2017, auto makers pushed the Trump administration to reopen them and consider a more flexible approach. But they have been wary of any effort that would disrupt the consensus between federal and California regulators, which could lead to protracted litigation and uncertainty or conflicting sets of regulatory standards.