The Trump administration has slashed $23 billion in regulatory costs so far in 2018 and could quadruple that number next year if it repeals key environmental rules for cars and trucks, the administration said Tuesday in previewing the release of next year's regulatory agenda.

“The president sent a very clear message at the outset that he wanted agencies to eliminate unnecessary rules and ineffective regulations," said a senior administration official on a call with reporters on the unified agenda that it will release on Wednesday.

"So, just in fiscal year ’18, agencies have eliminated $23 billion in overall regulatory costs," the official said, saying most previous administrations have only added regulatory costs rather than subtracted from them. "So, this is a net reduction in overall regulatory cost.”

Since the start of the administration, $33 billion in overall regulatory costs have been cut, the official explained, significantly increasing the cost savings from last year.

The official claimed that the Obama administration added $245 billion in its first 21 months.

The administration imposed only 14 significant new regulations last year, while it rolled back 176 large and small regulations, for a ratio of 12-to-1, meeting the president's directive of eliminating two existing regulations for every one new regulation, the official said.

But the bigger cost cuts from deregulation could come next year if a key Environmental Protection Agency rule for improving fuel economy in cars and trucks is finalized and rolled back, the official noted.

Next year the administration plans to cut $18 billion from the cost of federal regulations, the official said. But that cost cut could balloon if it includes corporate average fuel economy rules, which are still in the proposed stage. The Trump versions of the Transportation Department and EPA joint corporate average fuel economy, or CAFE, rules are projected to save between $120 billion and $340 billion.

Most of the EPA rollback agenda looks a lot like this year's, the official noted, including rolling back the Clean Power Plan, Waters of the United States, and CAFE.