National Consumers League

NCL disappointed in rollback of vehicle emissions, fuel efficiency standards

April 5, 2018

Contact: NCL Communications, Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org, (202) 207-2831

Washington, DC–The National Consumers League (NCL) today expressed “profound disappointment” in response to the announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it will roll back automobile fuel-efficiency standards.

“The NCL is profoundly disappointed with the EPA’s decision to renege on the Obama-era administration fuel efficiency standards: this irresponsible decision is detrimental to consumers and harmful to the environment,” said NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg.

According to a Consumer Reports survey, 53 percent of all American vehicle owners expect better fuel economy with their next car purchase. Consumers want more fuel-efficient vehicles that will save them money by reducing the cost of gas. In addition, a Consumer Federation of America (CFA) poll compared sales figures for 2016 SUVs and light duty trucks with the 2011 models and found that vehicles with a 10 percent increase in mileage sold nearly 20 percent more than vehicles with a less than 10 percent mileage improvement.  

“Not only will these rollbacks cost hardworking Americans financially, but they will compromise air quality across America,” said Greenberg.

Fully implemented, the 2012 fuel efficiency and emissions standards would have reduced carbon dioxide pollution by about six billion tons over the lifetime of all the cars affected by the regulations, according to EPA projections. As transportation is the leading source of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States, reducing or scrapping these standards will also make it impossible for the nation to meet its obligations under the Paris agreement and stay on track to hold global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.

Interestingly, the perceived winners from the lowered standards–the automakers–are apparently not pushing for these rollbacks. In fact, the New York Times stated in an April 3, 2018 editorial, “Bill Ford, the chairman of Ford Motor Company, and Jim Hackett, the company’s chief executive, wrote in a blog last week that while they would like more ‘flexibility’ on meeting the rule, ‘we support increasing clean car standards through 2025 and are not asking for a rollback.’”

“Weakening these fuel efficiency and emissions standards is indefensible; the industry isn’t even demanding it. These actions threaten the health and welfare of every American. The NCL urges the EPA to reconsider this reckless and unnecessary decision,” said Greenberg.

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About the National Consumers League
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit http://www.nclnet.org.