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Detroit Free Press: Reports of rolling back m.p.g. standards draw criticism

WASHINGTON — Democratic U.S. senators and environmental groups today blasted plans said to be in the works to roll back tougher fuel-use standards for American vehicles, arguing that they will return automakers to pre-recession policies that led to the near-collapse of the domestic industry.

Sens. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Tom Carper of Delaware and Jeff Merkley of Oregon held a call with reporters reacting to media reports that the Trump administration could announce a decision to relax fuel standards put in place five years ago.

Before former President Barack Obama left office, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it would leave in place rules requiring the nation’s fleet of light-duty vehicles to meet an average standard of 54.5 m.p.g. by the 2025 model year, despite automakers’ claims that it doesn’t take into account available technology and marketplace demand.