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Trump Confirms EPA Will Reopen CAFE Standards Midterm Review

US President Donald Trump confirmed today that the Environmental Protection Agency will reopen its originally-planned midterm review of federal CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards, reports Automotive News.

Trump made the announcement while addressing hundreds of autoworkers, and executives from major automakers like Ford CEO Mark Fields, General Motors CEO Mary Barra, and Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne. When the CAFE standards were originally set in 2011, the EPA had planned a review to assess whether a target fleet-wide average of 54.5 miles-per-gallon was achievable for automakers by 2025. But the review – slated to take place this year or next – was rushed through under the Obama administration before Donald Trump took office.

This future midterm review of the federal CAFE standards won’t necessarily reduce the mandated fuel-economy average, “but it does give automakers the opportunity to push for relief by lobbying new EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who has downplayed the effect humans have on climate,” writes Michael Martinez for Automotive News.

President Trump framed the decision to reopen the CAFE review as a means to encourage more US automobile manufacturing, saying: “We’re going to work on the CAFE standards so you can make cars in America again. There is no more beautiful sight than an American-made car.”

Automakers have expressed concern that the Obama-era CAFE standards are unfeasible, given the low cost of gasoline and Americans’ taste for large trucks and SUVs, or at best, hugely expensive for automakers and consumers. But Automotive News reports that under Obama, the EPA estimated that the cost of compliance through 2025 would be around $33 billion, while the resulting fuel savings, energy security, etc. would lead to a net benefit of $98 billion.

Aaron Brzozowski is a writer and motoring enthusiast from Detroit with an affinity for '80s German steel. He is not active on the Twitter these days, but you may send him a courier pigeon.

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  1. Jake

    That ending statement is BS. I did the math for me to move from a used truck to an all electric plug in, (from the plug in cars website, so using the national average, which is higher than kentuckys cost per gallon of fuel) and the plug in chevy bolt would cost 10g more on average than your normal brand new sedan, and my fuel savings was less than 2g a year. 5 years to start saving? I’ll need a new car by then. EPA is a waring office.let America choose its future.

    1. Andrew

      The cost of ownership of a new car is always going to be higher than that of a used car. As reported by Consumer Reports, the average length that household keep cars these days is around 11 years. If you’re switching cars every 5 years, that is more than 50% faster than the average American.

      Also, the CAFE standards were an attempt to look past the usual short sidedness of people and plan for the future. No one expects immediate benefits in an industry this large and complex, but if we can make meaningful moves towards a more efficient and profitable future, that’s good for all Americans in the long run.

  2. Marley

    This is a stab in the back to a dying planet and everyone on it who breathes air.

  3. CuriousObserver

    We improved MPG and reduced air pollution tremendously over the decades and the automakers always said it couldn’t be done. Europe and some other countries (not China or India at their own peril) take care of the planet. Our new attitude: environment be damned. SAD!


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