The Trump administration is overhauling Obama-era vehicle emissions standards to encourage automakers to offer more affordable new car options for Americans.
In writing an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation and Andrew Wheeler, acting Environmental Protection Agency Administrator said:
“During a visit to Detroit last year, President Trump announced his administration would assess and correct the current vehicle fuel-economy standards, which impose significant costs on American consumers and eliminate jobs. The administration is continuing to deliver on that promise. On Thursday the Transportation Department and Environmental Protection Agency are announcing a joint proposal to update the national automobile fuel-economy and greenhouse-gas standards to give consumers greater access to safer, more affordable vehicles, while continuing to protect the environment.
The joint proposal lays out eight options for new national fuel-economy standards for model years 2021-26. All interested parties are asked to weigh in with their views. The goal is to get it right—to create one national standard that is technologically feasible and economically practicable, while promoting energy conservation, furthering other environmental goals, and preserving consumer choice. The administration’s proposed option would lock in the 2020 standards until 2026, because the analysis of our agencies suggests that those standards strike the appropriate regulatory balance between vehicle improvements, environmental benefits and safety.
There are compelling reasons for a new rulemaking. The standards implemented by the previous administration raised the cost and decreased the supply of newer, safer vehicles. The government also previously failed to conduct a midterm review in the manner promised. Customers’ preferences have also changed since the current standards were introduced.”
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) in releasing a notice of proposed rulemaking on Thursday, outlined eight options for overhauling DOT’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards.
“We are delivering on President Trump’s promise to the American public that his administration would address and fix the current fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards,” said Wheeler.
Adding: “Our proposal aims to strike the right regulatory balance based on the most recent information and create a 50-state solution that will enable more Americans to afford newer, safer vehicles that pollute less. More realistic standards can save lives while continuing to improve the environment. We value the public’s input as we engage in this process in an open, transparent manner.”
Chao said: “There are compelling reasons for a new rulemaking on fuel economy standards for 2021-2026. More realistic standards will promote a healthy economy by bringing newer, safer, cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles to U.S. roads and we look forward to receiving input from the public.”
In seeking public feedback on the CAFE standards last updated by the Obama Administration in 2012, ensure that all potential impacts concerning today’s proposal are fully considered and hope to issue a final rule this winter.
The Obama administration last updated CAFE standards in 2012, EPA and DOT said it hoped to cap the average fuel efficiency of a carmaker’s vehicle fleet at 39 miles per gallon by 2020 and 50 miles per gallon in 2025.
Competitive Enterprise Institute Center for Energy and Environment Director Myron Bell welcomed the announcement and said: “The administration’s announcement that it will relax future fuel economy standards is good news for consumers. Even better news is the decision to take California out of the driver’s seat for setting CAFE standards for the entire country. Letting one state make decisions for people in other states makes a bad program even worse, especially since the state is California, which has been pursuing an anti-car agenda for decades.”