March 15, 2017
Trump Rollback of Fuel Economy Standards Would Cost Americans $5,700 Per Car, $8,200 Per Truck
Auto Industry and Trump Collude in a Myopic and Cruel Move
Note: Today, President Donald Trump will call for a review of fuel economy and tailpipe pollution standards for light-duty vehicles in model years 2022 to 2025.
“The White House’s campaign against clean air will make Americans sicker and poorer, and it invites catastrophic climate change in the near future. The fuel economy rules that Trump is reviewing are projected to save Americans up to $5,700 for every car they purchase and $8,200 for every truck. The tailpipe rules would save 53,000 lives each year and prevent millions more cardiovascular illnesses.
Trump’s zeal for axing public safeguards likely will kill more Americans and harm the U.S. economy more than war and terrorism combined during his presidency. Shame on him – and shame on the automakers egging on his dirty-air plans with the knowledge that he’ll likely grant whatever they ask.”
- David J. Arkush, managing director, Public Citizen’s Climate Program
“Just a few years ago, a U.S. government bailout saved the Big Three automakers from utter collapse. The government forced massive benefit cuts on auto workers and various retrenchments at the auto companies, but the only reciprocity the government demanded was industry agreement to higher fuel efficiency standards. Now the auto industry and the Trump administration are colluding to abrogate the deal, a move in equal parts myopic and cruel.
It is myopic because it allows the industry to repeat its stupid short-termism, which involves getting rich on SUV sales when gas prices are low and then plunging into crisis when they rise, which they inevitably will. Now, competition comes not only from foreign automakers who specialize in more fuel-efficient cars, but tech companies whose products in the not-distant future will displace the internal combustion engine – and likely the Big Three automakers, as well, if they are able to roll back the fuel efficiency standards.
It is cruel because it steals money from consumer pocketbooks, with the most severe impact on those least able to pay.”
- Robert Weissman, president, Public Citizen
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