The Trump administration has dealt another blow to the Obama administration’s restrictive environmental regulations by loosening the rule on fuel efficiency.
According to The Hill:
The Trump administration on Tuesday rolled back an Obama-era law that pushes automakers to produce more fuel efficient vehicles, severely limiting a rule designed to decrease pollution from transportation in the face of climate change.
The new rule cuts the year-over-year improvements expected from the auto industry, slashing standards that require automakers to produce fleets that average nearly 55 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2025. Instead, the Trump rule would bring that number down to about 40 mpg by 2026, bringing mileage below what automakers have said is possible for them to achieve.
The Trump administration has argued that cutting Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards will allow automakers to produce cheaper cars, something they say will save lives as lower prices spur consumers to upgrade to new vehicles with better safety features that guzzle less gas than older models.
“This rule reflects the Department’s No. 1 priority — safety — by making newer, safer, cleaner vehicles more accessible for Americans who are, on average, driving 12-year old cars. By making newer, safer, and cleaner vehicles more accessible for American families, more lives will be saved and more jobs will be created,” Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao said in a statement announcing the rule.
Lost in the argument that newer vehicles do not save more lives and increased fuel costs is the fact that this doesn’t force companies to produce less fuel-efficient vehicles. It just allows them to make decisions based on the market and not on regulations.