On August 2nd, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a proposed rule that would change the Obama-era Corporate Average Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Standards for model years 2021 through 2026. The new proposal, titled the “Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule,” would cap the standards at those previously proposed for model year 2020, as opposed to mandating future increases.
Specifically, the proposal would freeze fuel economy standards for passenger cars at 43.7 miles per gallon (mpg) and 204 grams per mile (g/mi) of CO2. Standards for light trucks would be 31.3 mpg and 284 g/mi of CO2. The combined level for cars and trucks would be up to 37 mpg and 241 g/mi of CO2.
In the proposal, the agencies state that the changes would “save over 500 billion dollars in societal costs and reduce highway fatalities by 12,700 lives (over the lifetimes of vehicles through model year 2029).” The agencies also note that “U.S. fuel consumption would increase by about half a million barrels per day,” but the agencies say that this would have a minimal impact on the global climate—increasing it by 3/1000th of a degree by 2100.
In addition to changing the GHG and fuel economy standards, the document also proposes to rescind California’s ability to set its own standards, which have been adopted by several other states. The intent is to create one national standard and “[eliminate] duplicative regulatory requirements.” This means that all states that have followed California in adhering to its fuel economy standards now will be preempted by the federal standard. The agencies also propose to eliminate California’s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program, stating that the program is “paid for through cross-subsidization by increasing prices of other vehicles, not just in California and other states that have adopted California’s ZEV mandate, but throughout the country.”
The proposal will be subject to public comment once published in the Federal Register. NACS will file comments.
A link to the proposal is here.