Motor Vehicle Fuel Efficiency

Rolling Back MPG Standards Will Roll Over Hard-Hit, Hardworking Americans

New EPA Chief Ignores President’s Commitment to Take Care of “Forgotten” Americans

Washington, D.C. – “The Environmental Protection Agency’s rescinding of the Final Determination that kept in place the current fuel-economy standards is an attack on consumer protection standards that help all Americans save money,” said Jack Gillis, Consumer Federation of America’s (CFA) Director of Public Affairs and author of The Car Book. “Hard-hit, hard-working Americans are the ones benefiting most from these standards, and are the ones that will be hurt most if Wall Street and Washington lobbyists succeed in rolling back these standards.”

Years of CFA polling has shown that a vast majority of Americans – including Republican, Democrat and even Trump voters – support standards making cars and trucks run on less gas for good reason—it puts hard-earned money back into their pockets.

“These standards, originally agreed to by 13 automakers, unions, consumer groups, and environmentalists, are reasonable, achievable and protect both consumer buying choices and differences in manufacturer vehicle mixes,” continued Gillis. “Tragically, the biggest beneficiaries of rolling back fuel efficiency standards will be the foreign oil companies, just as we are reducing our dependency on foreign oil.”

“The sky is not falling due to reasonable and achievable fuel economy standards – but it may for the U.S. automakers if they fall further behind the Asian companies.  Protect our car companies, keep the standards in place.”

“U.S. car companies say their engineers and designers aren’t as smart as the Asian and European car makers who are keeping up with the standards.  We say that’s malarkey, our folks can not only keep up with the global carmakers, but lead them.  Don’t roll back the standards that are ensuring that we keep pace with the rest of the world.”

Recently, CFA and Consumers Union, the policy arm of Consumer Reports, called on President Trump to support the standards: “For families struggling to cover basic needs, this would be an added burden. Improving fuel efficiency in cars and trucks not only saves money today, but helps provide families with a bit of insurance against future gas price increases. In fact, strong majorities of consumers across the political spectrum value fuel economy standards—our recent surveys and polls show that about 80 percent of Americans support the standards.”

Numerous cost-benefit analyses show that these standards can save consumers thousands of dollars over the life of the vehicle in reduced gas costs, even at today’s lower prices. In addition, they insure that U.S. car companies remain globally competitive and will prevent the need for another government bail-out as happened in 2009 when gas prices caused dealer’s lots to be filled with unsold gas guzzlers.

“It is rare that regulatory standards have such diverse support and produce across the board financial, industry, and consumer benefits. These standards received this support because they considered the needs of both manufacturers and car buyers,” said Dr. Mark Cooper, CFA’s Director of Research.

“Tossing aside this elegantly crafted standard would be a major short-term setback for consumer pocketbooks and a long-term setback for U.S. manufacturers,” added Gillis.

Contact: Mark Cooper, 301-384-2204; Jack Gillis, 202-737-0766


The Consumer Federation of America is an association of more than 250 non-profit consumer groups that, since 1968, has sought to advance the consumer interest through research, education, and advocacy.