The United States Environmental Protection Agency has rejected a bid from US automakers to soften fuel efficiency standards, that demand mileage increases, by 2025. This is a measure set forth by the Obama Administration which determined that auto companies already possess the technology—as well as the necessary financial resources—to meet new, and fair, fuel efficiency targets.
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy notes that eight years of research proves that “at every step in the process the analysis shows that the greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and light trucks remain affordable and effective through 2025, and will save American drivers billions of dollars at the pump while protecting our health and the environment.”
The current standard for all models released between 2022 and 2025 would result in an average fuel economy sticker value of at least 36 miles per gallon. This is 10 miles per gallon more than the current fleet average. McCarthy says that they could have made the standards even more stringent. He also warrants that this outcome is an “adjudication” and not a “regulation” which means that not even the Congressional Review Act can undo it.
Of course, the auto industry is fighting back. Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers spokeswoman, Gloria Bergquist, comments, “The EPA decision is disappointing. Our fundamental priority remains striking the right balance to continue fuel economy gains and carbon reduction without compromising consumer affordability and vital auto-sector jobs.”
Now, it is somewhat crucial to note that environmental groups have praised the EPA over the current standard and the effort to improve. Safe Climate Campaign director Daniel Becker, for example, says, “The clean-car standard is the biggest single step any nation has taken to fight oil use and global warming. Despite dire automaker warnings that the rules would be unachievable, the car companies are now complying — making huge profits and selling record numbers of vehicles.”
At the end of the day, Environmental Defense Fund president Fred Krupp comments, “The Clean Cars Standards are already successfully protecting both Americans’ lungs and their wallets. They’re also driving innovations that are creating auto industry jobs. Today’s determination ensures that we can all continue to breathe – and drive – a little easier.”