This is a problem, and bad news on a number of levels. The first and most evident is emissions which numerous agencies have worked hard to attempt to keep in check. It is true that the automotive sector is not solely responsible but steps had been taken and accepted by all OEMs following standards set by the State of California.
These standards are costing and will cost further billions of dollars to car makers as under Obama rules, 30% or more of new vehicles sold by 2025 will need to be electric. Trumps proposal freezes fuel efficiency standards at 2020 levels until 2026. What happens after then is difficult to predict so in a way, it’s up to manufacturers to act or not on the changes. Automakers have long since request a single set of rules for emissions and greenhouse gases on a global basis but have yet to see any real steps taken at this level.
California and at least 16 other states have filed lawsuits opposing changes brought forth by the EPA and the Government. The upside to the freeze, according to the Administration, will be a boost in US oil consumption and save up to 1,000 traffic fatalities a year. On the latter point, we’re at a complete loss. On the other, it’s absolutely obvious.