Motor Vehicle Fuel Efficiency

State-Based Consumer Groups Ask EPA to Leave Strong MPG and Emissions Standards Alone

Groups Want to Maintain State Freedom to Set Their Own Emissions Standards; Rollback of Federal Standards and States’ Rights Would Hurt American Families’ Health and Finances.

Washington D.C. — Representatives of national and state-based consumer groups from across the country delivered a letter to Environmental Protection Agency leadership asking the agency to maintain strong miles-per-gallon and emissions standards for cars, light trucks and SUVs, and asking that states’ rights to lead on passenger vehicle emission standards be maintained.

The letter sent today to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt by the Consumer Federation of America and a large contingency of affiliated consumer groups, points out that “Thirteen states and the District of Columbia, representing 113 million Americans and over one third of the automotive market, have chosen to exercise their right to bring cleaner, more efficient vehicles to their communities. As such, they are currently protected from an imminent decision by your Agency to weaken the standards. However, neighboring states and millions of other hard-working Americans will be saddled with more polluting, less efficient cars, trucks and SUVs that will cost them more at the pump.”

The letter forcefully defends states that have exercised their right to adopt their own vehicle emissions standards as well as the freedom for other states to do the same if the need arises. Consumer groups that signed on from potential clean car states include Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Texas and others.

“Clean cars states decided years ago – some decades ago – to deliver cleaner, more fuel efficient cars to their roads,” said Jack Gillis, Director of Public Affairs at the Consumer Federation of America and author of The Car Book. “These clean car states are potential laboratories of policy innovation that want the freedom to bring even cleaner, more efficient vehicles to their citizens that cut air pollution and fuel costs.”

Despite a voluminous and solid record supporting the standards, an imminent announcement from EPA is expected to lay the groundwork for a rollback of the current standards that cover passenger cars, SUVs, and light trucks through model year 2025. In March 2017, President Trump announced that the EPA would consider weakening standards governing the automotive industry.

CFA’s latest survey shows that consumers across the country want more fuel-efficient vehicles and support standards that save them money at the pump. Another CFA analysis shows that automakers are achieving the standards and saving consumers money right now.

“American families cannot afford to spend more money at the pump,” continued Gillis. “They do not deserve to be saddled with gas-guzzling vehicles that will wreak havoc on their household finances when gas prices inevitably spike again.”

Read the full letter here.

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