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What They Are Saying: U.S. DOT and EPA Put Safety and American Families First with Final Rule on Fuel Economy Standards

News Releases from HeadquartersAir and Radiation (OAR)

03/31/2020

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WASHINGTON (March 31, 2020) — Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule setting corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) and CO2 emissions standards for model years 2021-2026 passenger cars and light trucks. Here’s what stakeholders and government officials are saying:

U.S. Senator John Barrasso (WY), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works: “I applaud the Trump administration for setting commonsense emissions standards for cars and trucks,” said Barrasso. “The old rule would limit consumer choice and increase the cost of purchasing a vehicle. Washington must consider what is best for the whole country. The government shouldn’t make rules that work in cities but not in rural communities. The administration is helping protect Americans’ freedom to purchase a car or truck that meets their needs.”

Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden (OR-02), Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Republican Leader John Shimkus (IL-15), and Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05): “We are in a global marketplace and the SAFE Vehicles Rule recognizes our need to protect the environment while maintaining our global leadership. We cannot allow China to use this unprecedented time to outpace the United States. We thank the entire Trump Administration, particularly NHTSA and EPA, for a transparent, deliberative rulemaking process that led to the increase of fuel efficiency standards based on the latest scientific data, market trends, technological advancements, and stakeholder input. The SAFE Vehicles Rule strikes the right balance between reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions and lowering the cost of new vehicles for consumers. It is clear from this rule that the Trump Administration is committed to getting more Americans into newer, safer, and cleaner vehicles. This is a smart rule that doesn’t put us leagues behind China when we all know they never play by the same rules. We look forward to working with the Administration and fellow committee members to maintain vehicle safety and fuel efficiency.”

Congressman Frank D. Lucas (OK-03), Ranking Member of House Science, Space, and Technology Committee: “Oklahomans need reasonable regulations that allow them to drive clean, safe, and affordable cars. The EPA’s Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule updates regulations that were too burdensome while still protecting the environment. Consumers will be able to purchase cleaner, safer vehicles while the U.S. auto sector will remain competitive through reduced regulatory costs and increased vehicle sales.”

Congressman Doug LaMalfa (CA-01): “The unreasonable Obama-era auto emissions standards drove up the price of today’s already safer, and more fuel-efficient vehicles. The old rules took away consumer choice in the type of vehicle that fits their family needs, as the government punishes manufacturers who don’t meet their arbitrary goals. Manufacturers should be able to produce the cars people want instead of what the government demands. The Trump Administration continues to keep their promise of striking down unreasonable and unattainable regulatory burdens in favor of reasonable standards for our auto industry and that consumers want. The goal is to have safer, cleaner cars on the road, and this three-year effort by the Trump Administration, including Administrator Wheeler and Secretary Chao, will encourage auto manufacturers to build vehicles people will actually be happy to buy and that fit their family’s needs.”

Congressman Bob Latta (OH-05): “Thanks to the action taken by the EPA and NHTSA with the SAFE Vehicles Rule, we are able to remain globally competitive by increasing our national fuel efficiency standards while making newer, safer, and cleaner vehicles more accessible to Americans across the country. This is a step in the right direction and I applaud the Administration’s collective efforts in order to prioritize safety and reduce emissions.”

Congressman Andy Biggs (AZ-05): “I applaud Secretary Chao and Administrator Wheeler for their leadership on the SAFE Vehicle Rule. The previous Administration’s abusive CAFE standards put major economic burdens on the automobile industry and consumers. The SAFE Rule is a sound policy change that will best serve the interests of the American people, while maintaining strong environmental protections. I am hopeful that Congress will ratify and include these modifications in statute as soon as possible.”

Congressman Larry Bucshon (IN-08): “I applaud the Trump Administration’s final rule to increase accessibility to safer and cleaner vehicles. As the Congressman for Southwest and West Central Indiana, I have the honor of representing auto suppliers, manufacturers, and auto-dealers. I have seen firsthand the efforts to produce high quality, safe, and cleaner vehicles for the American people. I am pleased to see the Administration recognizing the importance of getting newer, light weight vehicles onto the road for the safety of Hoosier families. I look forward to working with the Administration as the rule is implemented.”

Congressman Kevin Hern (OK-01): “I’ve been a supporter of the new Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule throughout its development, and I’m proud to say that it’s now going into effect. President Trump has maintained a strong priority to remove unrealistic regulations and expectations on the automotive industry. With this rule, he is doing just that, replacing them with achievable standards. We are on the right path to ensuring the safety of our drivers, the accessibility of cleaner vehicles, and the reduction of CO2 emissions over time. Thank you to Administrator Wheeler and Secretary Chao for their leadership on these issues. I look forward to more great news following the implementation of the SAFE Vehicles Rule!”

Congressman Rick Crawford (AR-01): “Affordable transportation remains critical to ensuring a successful and thriving middle class. I am appreciative to President Trump and his Administration for their commitment to driving down costs and boosting quality of life for everyday Americans.”

Attorney General Jeff Landry (LA): “The final SAFE vehicles rule upholds President Trump’s promises to Americans and automakers, properly balancing safety, environmental, and federalism concerns. The prior standards were unfeasible, pricing many out of the new vehicle market and into vehicles, on average, manufactured before their implementation. The new rule will save thousands in purchase and maintenance costs, thousands of lives, and hundreds-of-thousands of Americans from auto collision injuries. I applaud President Trump, Secretary Chao, and Administrator Wheeler on this momentous achievement.”

Marty Durbin, President of the U.S. Chamber’s Global Energy Institute: “The Chamber has been a strong advocate for a reasonable, middle ground compromise on vehicle fuel economy standards. The Administration’s final rule released today appears to have struck this balance by providing a workable path forward on a unified national program that provides regulatory certainty while strengthening fuel economy standards and continuing emissions reductions.

“With its extensive supply chain and associated industries, the auto sector is essential to America’s economy. The importance of a unified, national auto market is more important than ever to allow manufacturers to plan and invest for the future.”

Peter Welch, President and CEO, National Automobile Dealers Association: “NADA applauds NHTSA and EPA’s tireless efforts to conduct a full and robust mid-term evaluation, and to right-size their fuel economy (CAFE) and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) standards for model years 2021-2026 consistent with what is technologically feasible and economically practical.

America’s franchised auto dealers continue to support continuous improvements in the fuel economy of the nation’s new-vehicle fleet, as well as federal fuel economy standards that help keep new vehicles affordable. NADA believes that the regulation of fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions should be examined through the lens of consumer affordability.”

Thomas Pyle, President, American Energy Alliance: “President Trump inherited a CAFE mandate from his predecessor that was impossible to achieve without dramatically altering the automobile market or making the cost of vehicles out of reach for most American families. This new CAFE rule will make cars more affordable for consumers at a time when they need it most. The rule puts power back into the hands of drivers, not bureaucrats and most importantly, it will save lives. This is a win all around.”

Nick Loris, Energy and Environment Economist, Heritage Foundation: “Consumers should have the freedom to buy the vehicle of their choice. Every time the federal government has cranked up fuel-efficiency mandates, they override consumer preferences and obscure price signals that tell energy producers to drill for more oil or entrepreneurs to invest in more fuel-efficient cars.

Fuel-economy standards drive up the sticker price of vehicles by thousands of dollars. Those prices ripple throughout the entire vehicle market pricing many buyers out. The Obama-era CAFE standards are an antiquated, unnecessary regulation that Congress should abolish; however, the SAFE rule is a marked improvement from the aggressive fuel-economy mandate of the past.”

NGVAmerica: “We champion the preservation of choice and the restoration of parity for clean transportation technologies… NGVAmerica is appreciative this rule recognizes, in part, that NGVs are key to a solution for a cleaner, safer, more efficient mobility future for all.”

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Author: Headquarters, Air and Radiation (OAR)

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