BBC : US eyes freeze of fuel efficiency rules

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The Trump administration has proposed freezing rules that require carmakers to build cleaner, more fuel-efficient models.

It also wants to stop states such as California being able to set their own standards.

Officials said the change to fuel efficiency rules would offer a "much-needed time-out from further costly increases".

But advocates criticised the weakening of environmental rules.

Under a 2012 plan, carmakers were required to increase the efficiency of their new models each year, achieving about 50 miles per gallon by 2025. The Obama administration estimated that the increased standards would save 12bn barrels of oil.

The new proposal would freeze the standards at the 2020 level - about 37 miles per gallon - a change the Trump administration estimates would increase daily fuel consumption by 2%-3% above forecasts.

The plan to revise pollution rules has been in the works for more than a year.

The proposal unveiled on Thursday is one of several under consideration, but is the favoured option, officials said.

The administration is seeking comments on the plan. A final decision is expected this winter.

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