Consumer Groups Send President a Response to Car Companies’ Request to Lower Fuel Economy Standards

Experts

Policy Counsel, Energy and Environment
Senior Communications Associate, Energy Policy

Reprinted from Consumer Federation of America

February 23, 2017

Washington, D.C. — Consumers Union and the Consumer Federation of America have asked the President to maintain the reasonable and achievable fuel economy standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency back in 2012—the very standards agreed to by the car companies. These standards directly benefit working class families, create new jobs and encourage innovation, all important tenants of President Trump’s promise to Americans.

“The current fuel economy standards represent one of the most consensus based regulatory efforts in the history of the U.S.  Rarely is there agreement between car companies, unions, environmentalists and consumer groups – yet that’s just what happened when these standards were established.  One of the most remarkable aspects of the standards is that they respect both consumer choice and differences in manufacturer production decisions.  By setting the standards lower for larger vehicles, the standard reflects both the challenges manufacturers face with heavier vehicles and variations in consumer preferences.  Manufacturers who choose to focus on large pickups and SUVs simply don’t have to meet the same requirements as those who focus on smaller vehicles,” said Jack Gillis, CFA’s Director of Public Affairs and author of The Car Book

“The EPA finalized the 2025 standards earlier this year, after a thorough study of the costs and benefits of strengthening fuel efficiency for light duty vehicles,” said Shannon Baker-Branstetter, policy counsel for Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization division of Consumer Reports. “Rolling back these standards now would mean consumer would lose out on those savings. For middle class families struggling to pay bills, raising their costs at the pump is a bad deal. To help working families, the President and the EPA should implement this reasonable and cost-effective approach to increasing efficiency and lowering consumer bills.”

Numerous cost-benefit analysis show that these standards can save consumers thousands of dollars over the life of the vehicle in reduced gas costs, even at today’s lower prices.   That is why consumers in general, as well as supporters of President Trump, support the standards in recent surveys and polls.