Automakers should have an easier time reaching mpg averages.
The battle between individual states and the federal government has begun as the EPA and NHTSA have released their joint proposal for 2021-2025 model year emissions standards. According to a Reuters report, the Trump Administration has rolled back previous emissions targets that were set by the Obama Administration. The goal is to help car companies lower prices by removing unrealistic targets. This decision goes against California's authority to set its own standards, causing California and 18 other states to fight against the proposed rollbacks.
“The Trump Administration has launched a brazen attack, no matter how it is cloaked, on our nation’s Clean Car Standards,” said California’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra. In a statement, Becerra said California “will use every legal tool at its disposal” to defend stricter standards. The previous goal for fleet average fuel economy was 50 mpg by 2026, but now automakers would only have to maintain an average of 35 mpg.
The EPA estimates that the rollbacks will help erase $1,850 in added vehicle costs and save automakers roughly $252.6 billion from reduced regulatory costs through 2029. Both the states and automakers are looking for a single national fuel economy standard, so it will be interesting to see how the Trump Administration handles this situation. Tensions in the US are already high with the threat of auto tariffs, and now a battle over fuel economy regulations may add fuel to the fire.