Motor Vehicle Fuel Efficiency

New Bill to Roll Back MPG Standards Would Hurt American Families

With Gas Prices Up – Upton/Dingell Bill Attacks Household Pocketbooks

Washington, D.C. – A bill was introduced today by Representatives Fred Upton (R-MI), and Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI) – similar to a measure sponsored by Republican Senator Roy Blunt earlier this year – that further escalates Congressional attacks on fuel saving miles-per-gallon standards according to Jack Gillis, Director of Public Affairs for the Consumer Federation of America and author of The Car Book.

“With the addition of the Upton/Dingell bill to roll back MPG standards for cars, Congress is waging an all out assault on consumer pocketbooks”, said Gillis. “A vote for either bill is a vote for higher gasoline costs for already financially challenged American families.  What is particularly tragic is that this is being proposed as consumers across the nation are still suffering from increases in gas costs due to Irma and Harvey.”

Like the Blunt bill, the Upton/Dingell bill would provide automakers undeserved credits toward meeting fuel economy standards, impacting the fuel efficiency of all vehicles but especially larger vehicles. Not only would this bill cost American’s more at the pump, but it would hurt auto sales.  A recent analysis by CFA shows that SUVs, pickups and crossovers, whose MPGs increased by over 10 percent between 2011 to 2016, had a 59 percent increase in sales. On the other hand, those same vehicles with less than a 10 percent increase in MPGs from 2011 to 2016 only experienced a 41 percent increase in sales, almost 20 percent less.  “The elegance of this standard, agreed to by 13 automakers, unions, consumers and environmentalists, is that it benefits both consumers and the industry,” said Gillis. “Rolling it back would serve only to give the Asian manufacturers, who are fully capable of meeting the standards, another marketing advantage over the American car companies.”

“Thanks to these standards, automakers are learning that better MPGs mean more sales,” said Gillis. “Automakers do not need to need special giveaways that allow them to slack off at the expense of hardworking families.”

Contact: Jack Gillis, 202-737-0766; Christina Heartquist, 415-453-0430

The Consumer Federation of America is a nonprofit association of more than 250 consumer groups that was founded in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education.