Washington D.C. — In response to the EPA/DOT plan to halt the highly-popular, cost-saving fuel economy standards at their 2020 level, 17 states plus the District of Columbia are suing the U.S. EPA. Jack Gillis, the Director of Public Affairs for the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and author of The Car Book, released this statement in support of the lawsuit:
“The 18 jurisdictions in the lawsuit represent 140 million Americans and over 40 percent of the U.S. auto market. These standards are critically important protections for both consumer pocketbooks and the environment, and CFA will be working tirelessly to protect them. We fully support the attorneys’ general action to preserve states’ rights and to preserve these economically and environmentally beneficial standards. First and foremost, the standard agreed to by car companies, unions, environmentalists and consumers protects households from rollercoaster gas prices that are already on their way up again (12 percent since January 1st). Most households don’t have a choice when it comes to needing gasoline, so denying them increasingly efficient vehicle choices will wreak havoc on their already stretched pocketbooks.
The standards, implemented in 2012, are easily achievable. In fact a recent analysis by CFA shows that automakers are already well on their way to meeting the 2025 standards. Halting this progress at 2020 – half a decade before we’ll see the full benefits—will roll the American auto industry back to the days of the last fuel price spike when they had car lots full of unsold vehicles allowing foreign auto makers, with their fuel–sipping vehicles, to dominate the market.
These standards are undeniably supported by large majority of Americans, for good reason: The average American household spends $1,500 a year of gas, these standards are projected to save consumers over $2,600 over 5 years on an “all-new” vehicle compared to their pre-standard 2011 version.
Families and workers who need larger vehicles will be hurt the most, but ironically so will the car companies pushing the Trump Administration to roll back the requirements. In CFA’s latest analysis of vehicle sales, popular SUVs which have increased their MPGs by 15 percent or more, sell far better than those that had less than a 15 percent improvement.
Not only will U.S. car companies become less competitive globally if the standards are rolled back, but survey after survey shows that consumers want higher fuel efficiency standards. CFA’s latest survey provides indisputable evidence that consumers strongly support the government requiring these standards. Clearly the Trump Administration is putting the short-sighted demands of corporations ahead of the needs of hardworking American families.”
Contact: Jack Gillis, 202-939-1018