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Trump to undo Obama auto emission rules: official
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) March 15, 2017

President Donald Trump is set to announce steps Wednesday to halt his predecessor Barack Obama's future vehicle emissions limits for manufacturers, a senior administration official said.

During a visit to auto manufacturing hub Detroit, Trump is set to announce that the Environmental Protection Agency's objectives for 2022-2025 will be put on hold during a new review period.

"We are going to hold back the EPA determination" that automakers can meet the Obama administration's strict curbs on greenhouse gas emissions, the official said.

The Trump White House says the rules were issued in an 11th hour move by the Obama administration without taking into consideration the realities of the market, the constraints of various actors in the field and consumer expectations.

"I don't think the public really had an opportunity to weigh in," the official said.

In a February letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, US auto manufacturers had asked the new president to suspend the Obama administration's restrictions, saying they could threaten employment.

Trump is set to meet with auto industry leaders and union representatives in Detroit.

"Will be going to Detroit, Michigan (love), today for a big meeting on bringing back car production to State & U.S. Already happening!" he wrote in a tweet hours before the meetings.

Since his January 20 inauguration, Trump has repeatedly indicated he wants to remove a number of federal environmental regulations he considers futile, saying they are hurting job creation in the United States.

Pruitt, the former attorney general of Oklahoma, was one of the EPA's fiercest opponents prior to being named by Trump to head the agency.

Last week, Pruitt sparked outrage when he went against scientific consensus in claiming that increasing greenhouse gas emissions were not a determining factor in climate change.

UK cruise ship damages pristine Indonesian coral reef
Sorong, Indonesia (AFP) March 14, 2017
A British-owned cruise ship has smashed into pristine coral reefs, causing extensive damage in a remote corner of Indonesia known as one of the world's most biodiverse marine habitats, researchers and officials said Tuesday. Raja Ampat in eastern Indonesia has long been a top attraction for intrepid travellers and avid divers, home to palm-fringed islands surrounded by an underwater kaleidos ... read more

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