Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt talked about plans to ease emissions standards for cars and trucks at an announcement Tuesday morning.
Regulators say a timeline put in place by President Barack Obama was not appropriate and set standards "too high."
"I think the focus in the past has been on making manufacturers in Detroit, making manufacturers in various parts of the country, make cars that people aren't going to buy," said Pruitt.
The EPA said it completed a review that will affect vehicles for model years 2022-2025 but it did not specify details on new standards, which it said would be forthcoming. Current regulations from the EPA require the fleet of new vehicles to get 36 miles per gallon in real-world driving by 2025.
That's about 10 mpg over the existing standard.
The EPA, in partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, will work to come up with new standards.
Pruitt did not take questions nor did he address ethics questions swirling around him.
Pruitt has come under intense scrutiny for his use of a Capitol Hill condominium linked to a prominent Washington lobbyist whose firm represents fossil fuel companies.
An agency ethics official at the EPA has insisted that Pruitt's lease didn't violate federal ethics rules.
President Donald Trump called Pruitt on Monday and told him that "we've got your back," and urged him to "keep his head up" and "keep fighting," according to two administration officials.