Will the Trump Administration Roll Back Recent Federal Fuel Economy Standards?

The still-new Trump Administration is moving ahead on its initiative to roll back federal fuel-economy requirements which would have otherwise forced automakers to significantly increase fuel efficiency for all cars and trucks made/sold in America. You may recall this was a major directive from former President Barack Obama’s global warming slow down strategy.

Well, it turns out that the United States Environmental Projection Agency (EPA) is very close to announcing the reversal of the latest decision, from the last few days of Obama’s presidency, which would lock in very strict mileage requirements for cars and light trucks from now to 2025. Indeed, automakers have requested that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt should discard the Jan 13 enactment that requires all cars should have real-world efficiency figures of 36 miles to the gallon.

Automakers argue that this adjustment would add several thousand dollars to the price of a new car and could cost the US auto industry at least one million jobs.

In a Feb 21 letter to Pruitt, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (a group which represents the likes of General Motors, Ford, Toyota, and more than a half dozen others) said that this Jan. 13 decision on fuel economy “may be the single most important decision that EPA has made in recent history.” The alliance then went on to urge Pruitt should reconsider the proposal, which the group warns would “depress an industry that can ill-afford spiraling regulatory costs.”

Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass is among those who has long pushed for higher fuel standards. He, and other Democratic senators, continue to criticize the EPA review. He warrants: “President Trump is waging a war on the environment, and he wants EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to make our strong fuel economy emissions standards his latest victim. Undoing the fuel efficiency standards would harm consumers, weaken our energy security and increase global warming pollution.”

The trade group, though, also contends that the original decision did not account for lower fuel prices which has helped sustain American consumer love for gas-guzzling big trucks and SUVs. When the standards had been originally conceived, fuel was about $3.60 per gallon of regular unleaded, on average. Now, that same gallon is about $2.28. In addition, more than half of new vehicles sold in the US, in 2012, was a car, but last year, six out of 10 vehicles sold in the US is either a truck or an SUV.