“Not appropriate”: That was the conclusion of Pruitt’s EPA after a midterm evaluation of the emissions and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards set during the Obama administration that would require doubling the nationwide vehicle fleet average mileage to 54.5 miles per gallon for cars and light-duty trucks by 2025.
In 2017, just before President Barack Obama left office, the EPA announced that it planned to leave the standards in place. But after automakers lobbied the Trump administration, complaining that the standards do not reflect the effect of lower gas prices on consumers’ vehicle choices, they found it was very receptive to their argument.
“The Obama administration’s determination was wrong,” Pruitt said in an April statement. “Obama’s EPA cut the midterm evaluation process short with politically charged expediency, made assumptions about the standards that didn’t comport with reality and set the standards too high.”
This month, the EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are poised to release their proposal for a new target, which is widely expected to be a freeze of the standards in 2020.
Photo courtesy of Max Pixel.