Trump Administration to Make Decision on Scaling Back Obama-Era Fuel Economy Standards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is reportedly considering lowering the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards for automakers, which currently mandate a doubling of their average fleet fuel efficiency to 50 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2025. Meanwhile, numerous states like California have passed their own greenhouse gas emissions standards that meet or exceed the existing federal standards. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has said he intends to challenge California on this issue, arguing that automakers’ fuel economy goals should not be driven by the states with the strictest regulations in place.

According to a recent article from AutoBlog, General Motors CEO Mary Barra met with both EPA and the U.S. Department of Transportation to discuss the issue. Barring any adjustments to the standards, meeting these previously-agreed-to goals would cost the automotive industry hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade. With consistently low gas prices and a healthy economy, consumer demand for light trucks and SUVs has increased year-over-year, making it more and more difficult for manufacturers to meet these average fleet mpg marks.