Yesterday Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that the agency would start a public comment period in efforts to overhaul Obama-era fuel economy standards for cars and light duty trucks from 2021 to 2025.
Much like the Clean Power Plan and the Waters of the United States Act, the fuel economy standards that were proposed and finalized by Obama’s EPA have also been in the crosshairs of President Donald Trump’s EPA. The new administration argues that the current fuel economy standards will cost automakers too much money. However, the current standards were based on extensive research that showed consumers saving hundreds or thousands of dollars per year in fuel expenses. Although the EPA estimated that automakers would collectively lose $200 billion over 13 years in complying with the fuel economy standards, the International Council on Clean Transportation—the same group that helped bring to light Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal—released a study showing that the EPA’s estimates had been too conservative, and automakers can meet aggressive fuel economy standards more economically.
The Obama-era EPA’s fuel economy standards require that automakers reach an average fuel economy of 54.5 mpg by 2025, which would reduce consumption of fossil fuels and reduce the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere. Many in Trump’s administration, including Pruitt and Trump himself, falsely claim that climate science is either bogus or murkier than it actually is.