Biden EPA Fuel Standard Will Impose All-Pain, No-Gain Policies on Consumers

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The Biden administration today announced a final rule raising fuel economy standards for cars and small trucks, reversing a more sensible Trump-era rule. The new EPA rule imposes a federal mandate requiring cars and other light-duty vehicles to achieve a 40 miles per gallon standard over the next five years, up from 32 miles per gallon – a standard that will apply to model years 2023-2026.

CEI energy policy and legal experts criticized the new rule as an abuse of power and an imposition of an unrealistic, potentially hazardous standard.

Statement by Myron Ebell, Director of CEI’s Center on Energy and Environment:

CEI hopes that federal courts will consider the strong evidence presented in the administrative record by CEI and others and overturn EPA’s new final vehicle fuel efficiency rule. The EPA’s new standards are the latest example of the Biden administration’s widescale efforts to put government in charge of decisions that should be made by individual people. 

Although major automakers may support the higher fuel efficiency standards proposed today, it remains to be seen whether they can produce vehicles that both meet the standards and consumers want to buy.         

Statement by Devin Watkins, CEI Attorney:

In issuing these new CAFE rules, EPA has failed to even address what its own independent scientific experts said EPA’s claims of PM2.5 harms had “unstated, untested, unverified, or mistaken assumptions” including the failure “to distinguish between true exposure values and estimated exposure values in analyzing and presenting information.”

Additionally, EPA fails to even mention, let alone explain, the thousands of additional lives that could be saved with a less stringent standard. The only mention of CEI again concerns costs (page 267), when our comments explicitly said: “EPA inappropriately dismissed these safety concerns based on an unrelated minimal increase in average car costs.” CEI sued EPA to have it address these safety concerns, and EPA asked the court to put that case on hold in case it addresses this problem in this new rulemaking, which it has now failed to do so.