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Cars travel north towards Los Angeles on interstate highway 5 in San Diego, California February 10, 2016. Picture taken February 10. To match Insight AUTOS-AUTONOMOUS/INFRASTRUCTURE REUTERS/Mike Blake - GF10000365352

EPA says Trump’s fuel economy freeze could lead to more highway deaths

WASHINGTON — Internal documents show the Environmental Protection Agency privately questioned the Trump administration’s finding that freezing Obama-era mileage standards would make drivers safer.

In announcing the mileage proposal, the administration said the freeze would save 1,000 lives a year. But in a June email, the EPA told the Department of Transportation that it would slightly increase highway deaths.

EPA spokesman John Konkus says the new documents made public Tuesday were just a small part of administration discussions on the mileage proposals.

The Trump administration has proposed freezing mileage standards after 2020. The tougher Obama-era mileage rules were meant to reduce pollution and climate-changing emissions.

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