Proposed Rewrite of Auto Fuel Economy Rules Threatens New "Gas Tax" for Drivers; Harms National Security; And Undermines State Government Programs for Promoting CNG, EV and Other Alternative Fuel Vehicles

WASHINGTON--()--The CEO of the American Clean Skies Foundation (ACSF) responded today to pending action by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to re-visit the post-2020 goals for automobile tailpipe pollution and fuel economy or miles per gallon (mpg).

“President Trump says he wants an America First energy policy. According to the White House web site says that means “The Trump Administration is committed to energy policies that lower costs for hardworking Americans and maximize the use of American resources, freeing us from dependence on foreign oil.”

The current goals, set jointly with the Department of Transportation (DOT), require auto makers to achieve combined average fuel economy for their fleets of cars and light trucks of about 41 mpg in 2021 and about 49 mpg in 2025. The EPA and DOT review could do away with or sharply reduce the approximately 20% average improvement in fuel economy – at least 8 miles per gallon (some 100 miles per tank of gasoline ) – now set for these vehicles beginning with the 2022 model year.

In a statement released today, ACSF’s CEO, Gregory C. Staple, pointed out several unintended negative consequences from scrapping the current policy.

President Trump says he wants an America First energy policy. According to the White House web site says that means “The Trump Administration is committed to energy policies that lower costs for hardworking Americans and maximize the use of American resources, freeing us from dependence on foreign oil.” See: https://www.whitehouse.gov/america-first-energy

Scrapping better fuel economy for the country’s cars and trucks would have exactly the opposite impact. Halting the large benefits America now gets each year from more efficient engines -- more miles per gallon -- would:

— Amount to a huge, multi-billion dollar new gas tax on hardworking American drivers; and

— Harm national security by spurring more oil imports, rewarding Russian oil companies and the OPEC cartel.

Holding auto makers to their prior commitment for higher fuel economy each model year until 2025 would make good on the President’s vow to negotiate a better economic deal for ordinary Americans.

Re-opening talks with the car companies and putting an 8 mile per gallon give back on the table up front – roughly 100 miles per tank of gasoline -- risks a far worse deal for consumers.

Cutting back the current fuel economy goals for auto makers would also:

— Threaten tens of thousands of good U.S. jobs, as auto companies reduce U.S. based spending on innovation and R&D;

— Put America last by encouraging the auto industry to sell out-of-date technology to U.S. consumers while shifting investment in state-of-the art cars and trucks overseas to meet higher fuel economy standards in Europe and Asia.

Finally, changing the current fuel economy goals for auto makers would undermine the hundreds of millions of dollars spent by states such as Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and California to promote CNG, EV and other alternative fuel vehicles,” said Gregory C. Staple, CEO, ACSF.

About the American Clean Skies Foundation

ACSF is a Washington D.C. non-profit organization working for cleaner fuel choices in the transportation and electric power sectors. In 2012, the Foundation led a successful cross-industry coalition to establish technology-neutral incentives for reduced oil use under the current fuel economy standards.

Contacts

American Clean Skies Foundation
Damaris Bender, 405-715-3232