October 26, 2018

Wyden, Merkley & Senate Colleagues Oppose Trump Administration’s Proposed Fuel Economy Roll-back

Proposed rule would harm consumers, increase oil consumption, and worsen climate change

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined their colleagues today in opposing the Trump administration’s recent proposal to roll back fuel economy standards, which would harm consumers, and lead to increased oil consumption and the emission of more global warming pollution.

In a letter sent today to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation (DOT), the Senators urge the agencies to reject the preferred alternative of freezing the fuel economy emissions standards at 2020 levels, and instead adopt strong standards that all stakeholders can support.

The Trump administration proposal to freeze the standards at 2020 levels in the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Proposed Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 would increase domestic oil consumption by 500,000 barrels of oil per day, as well as increase consumer spending by $20 billion a year in 2025 and almost $50 billion in 2035. The proposed roll-back would lead the United States to emit an additional 2.2 billion metric tons of global warming pollution by 2040, the equivalent of 55 coal-fired power plants, running for ten straight years. The letter also highlights that the proposal is an attack on the Clean Air Act waiver that California, 12 other states, including Oregon, and the District of Columbia use to implement strong state-level fuel economy standards – a direct assault on clean air, states’ rights, and certainty for the auto industry. The Senators point to the success of the current standards in saving consumers money, protecting the environment, and boosting the American automotive industry.

“The Trump administration’s proposal to freeze the fuel economy and vehicle greenhouse gas emissions standards is wrong on its merits,” wrote the Senators in their letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. “If strong standards that maximize fuel savings are maintained, consumers will save money on gas, jobs in auto manufacturing and fuel-efficient technology will continue to increase, the American auto industry will be able to compete internationally, and innovation will continue to thrive.”

A copy of the letter can be found here.

Other Senators signing the letter include Senators Ed Markey (D-M.A.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash,), Bob Casey (D-Penn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Chris Coons (D-Del.).