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The Latest: Scores oppose Trump mileage proposal at hearing

Linda Dunn, center, and Ron Freund, right, protest before the first of three public hearings on the Trump administration's proposal to roll back car-mileage standards in a region with some of the nation's worst air pollution Monday, Sept. 24, 2018 in Fresno, Calif. The day-long session by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is a means to gather public comment concerning the mileage plan, which would freeze U.S. mileage standards at levels mandated by the Obama administration for 2020, instead of letting them rise to 36 miles per gallon by 2025. (AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian)

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a California hearing on a proposal to roll back car-mileage standards (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

Scores of people have spoken against the Trump administration’s plan to roll back car-mileage standards at a hearing in California that ended earlier than expected.

Officials at Monday’s event in Fresno had initially predicted it could go late into the night. But the last speaker wrapped up late in the afternoon, and the hearing was adjourned a short time later.

People who spoke expressed opposition to the mileage proposal, raising concerns it would exacerbate climate change and health problems that afflict California’s Central Valley. The plan would freeze U.S. mileage standards at levels mandated by the Obama administration for 2020 instead of letting them rise to 36 miles per gallon (15 kilometers per liter) by 2025.

Another hearing is scheduled in Dearborn, Michigan, on Tuesday and a third one in Pittsburgh the day after that.

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12:40 p.m.

A large auto industry trade group says during a California hearing on car-mileage standards that the current federal fuel economy requirements won’t work.

In testimony prepared for a public hearing Monday in Fresno, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said customers aren’t buying more efficient vehicles.

“No one wins if our customers are not buying the new highly efficient products offered in our showrooms,” said Steve Douglas, senior director of energy and environment for the alliance.

The alliance has said there’s a widening gap between the requirements approved by the Obama administration and what consumers are buying.

The Trump administration’s preferred plan is to freeze standards proposed by the Obama administration from 2021 through 2026. The alliance says it supports increasing the standards but it hasn’t said by what amount.

Automakers unanimously favor one standard nationwide so they don’t have to design two vehicles, one for California and the states that follow its requirements and another for the rest of the nation.

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11:25 a.m.

California officials say the Trump administration’s plan to roll back car-mileage standards is not supported by science, will damage people’s health and exacerbate climate change.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and California Air Resources Board chairwoman Mary Nichols were among several state officials on the first panel to testify at a hearing in Fresno on Monday. The hearing is intended to seek public comment on the administration’s mileage plan.

The proposal would freeze U.S. mileage standards at levels mandated by the Obama administration for 2020 instead of letting them rise to 36 miles per gallon (15 kilometers per liter) by 2025.

Nichols said the administration’s claims that the rollback would improve safety were absurd. Becerra said California could not afford to retreat in the fight against climate change.

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9:05 a.m.

Demonstrators have gathered ahead of California hearing on the Trump administration’s proposal to roll back car-mileage standards.

The session in Fresno is set to begin at 10 a.m. Monday and is expected to last all day.

It’s the first of three events by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to gather public comment on the mileage plan.

Paul Gipe and his wife Nancy Nies drove up from Bakersfield to protest the proposal.

Gipe writes about renewable energy and calls the White House plan a step backward and a “statement that air pollution is acceptable.”

The proposal would freeze U.S. mileage standards at levels mandated by the Obama administration for 2020 instead of letting them rise to 36 miles per gallon (15 kilometers per liter) by 2025.

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12:05 a.m.

Doctors, environmental groups and California officials will weigh in on the Trump administration’s proposal to roll back car-mileage standards at what could be a raucous hearing in a region with some of the nation’s worst air pollution.

The daylong session in Fresno on Monday is the first of three events by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to gather public comment on the mileage plan.

The proposal would freeze U.S. mileage standards at levels mandated by the Obama administration for 2020 instead of letting them rise to 36 miles per gallon (15 kilometers per liter) by 2025.

Administration officials say waiving the tougher fuel efficiency requirements would make vehicles more affordable.

Opponents say it would undercut efforts to reduce unhealthy tailpipe emissions that are a significant contributor to climate change.

Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.



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