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Why U.S. Automakers Could Be Cheering Trump Next Week

President Trump Meets With Key Automobile Industry LeadersPresident Trump Meets With Key Automobile Industry Leaders
Mark Fields, president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Co., speaks as Mary Barra, chief executive officer of General Motors Co. (GM), left, and Sergio Marchionne, chief executive officer of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, center, listen during a news conference outside the White House after a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, not pictured, in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. Trump told chief executives of the three biggest U.S. automakers that environmental regulations are out of control and promised he would remove obstacles for manufacturers and oil companies. Andrew Harrer — Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce next week that it would reopen a review of 2022-2025 vehicle emissions requirements after automakers urged the Trump administration to reverse a decision under former President Barack Obama, a source said on Friday.

Last week, trade groups representing General Motors Co , Toyota Motor Corp, Volkswagen (VLKAY), Ford Motor Co., Honda Motor Co., and others formally asked EPA chief Scott Pruitt to withdraw an Obama administration decision to lock in vehicle emission rules through 2025.

A person briefed on the matter who had seen the draft order restarting the review said it was expected to be unveiled next week. The source was not authorized discuss the contents of the draft order publicly.

The EPA is expected to work in tandem with the U.S. Transportation Department, which sets corporate average fuel efficiency standards in parallel with EPA emissions limits, the source said.

A White House spokeswoman and an EPA spokesman declined to comment on Friday.

The EPA had until April 2018 to decide whether the 2025 standards were feasible but in November moved up its decision to Jan. 13, just before Obama left office.

The auto group requests follow a separate letter to President Donald Trump earlier this month from the chief executives of GM (GM), Ford Motor (F) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU), along with the top North American executives at Toyota, Volkswagen, Honda, Hyundai Motor, Nissan Motor Co., and others urging Trump to revisit the decision.

Automakers say the rules impose significant costs and are out of step with consumer preferences. Environmentalists say the rules are working, saving drivers thousands in fuel costs and should not be changed.

In 2011, Obama announced an agreement with automakers to raise fuel efficiency standards to a fleet average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. This, the administration said, would save motorists $1.7 trillion in fuel costs over the life of the vehicles but cost the auto industry about $200 billion over 13 years.

Pruitt told a Senate panel in January he would review the issue.