EPA Acts to Keep Vital Vehicle Efficiency Standards Moving Forward

Statement by Michelle Robinson, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Nov 30, 2016

Washington (November 30, 2016)—Today, the EPA issued a proposed determination that would keep current vehicle efficiency and carbon pollution standards in place, ensuring continued progress for a policy that has made passenger cars and trucks run cleaner and go farther on every gallon of gasoline.     

Below is a statement by Michelle Robinson, director of the Clean Vehicles Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“Vehicle efficiency standards are a vital and effective policy protecting consumers and the climate. Following a rigorous review process, this proposed determination affirms that these standards are appropriate and should move forward as promulgated.

“When EPA created these standards, in cooperation with DOT and the auto industry, they included a midterm review to evaluate whether the standards should be implemented as enacted. After a robust analysis of the technologies automakers are using and will be able to use in the future, coupled with significant stakeholder input and public comment, there’s a clear answer to that question—these standards are working, and automakers are meeting and even exceeding their targets while enjoying record-setting sales. A final determination to maintain strong standards would provide automakers with long-term certainty as they continue to improve vehicle efficiency for US and international markets.

“In fact, the Technical Assessment Report found that investments in innovation by automakers have led to novel, cost-effective technologies, enabling the auto industry to meet the standards at a cost lower than originally anticipated, which indicates that not only are the automakers able to meet the standards, but that they could meet even more stringent standards.

“The benefits of these standards are enormous—UCS analysis shows that they’ve already saved drivers $33 billion at the pump, cut our oil use by 270 million barrels, and reduced carbon pollution by 125 million tons. New vehicle fuel economy is at an all-time high. We can’t afford to lose the progress we’ve made.

“Based on careful technical analysis, the EPA made the right decision to ensure that consumers continue to benefit from increasingly fuel efficient vehicles.”