Matsui Introduces Legislation that Pushes Back on the Trump Administrations Attempts to Roll Back the Fuel Economy and Vehicle Emissions Standards

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Washington, February 5, 2019 | Hannah Blatt (202-225-7163) | comments

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) led 19 of her House Energy & Commerce Committee colleagues in introducing the Clean and Efficient Cars Act of 2019, which would preserve fuel economy and vehicle emissions standards that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save drivers money at the pump.

The legislation would codify the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) standards that were created in 2012 for light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas emissions and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) for model years 2021 to 2025. The 2012 standards were created as part of an agreement between the agencies, auto manufacturers, labor, environmental groups, and interested states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase fuel efficiency. The EPA estimated the model year 2022 to 2025 emissions rules would reduce U.S. oil consumption by 50 billion gallons, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 540 million metric tons, and nearly double the fuel economy of passenger vehicles to an average of about 54 miles per gallon.

In March of 2017, the Trump Administration announced that the EPA and DOT would be revising and weakening the standards, despite the fact that the EPA issued a final determination in January 2017 to maintain them. In August of 2018, the EPA and DOT jointly issued the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Rule (SAFE Vehicle Rule). The proposed rule would freeze efficiency standards in 2021, halting the current rule five years early.

“Climate change is real, and we must act now to address it. The Trump Administration is trying to take us backwards in our fight to tackle the climate crisis by rolling back these critical fuel efficiency standards,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “And I won’t let that happen. These standards protect the air we breathe, our health, and our pocket books – saving consumers nationwide an estimated $75 billion in fuel costs. Congress must take action to preserve these important standards that spur innovation in emission reduction technologies and the auto industry.”

The Clean and Efficient Cars Act would preserve the 2012 EPA and DOT rules, as well as prohibit the agencies from creating loopholes in the standards, thus blocking the Trump Administration from weakening the standards and raising costs for drivers. 

Original co-sponsors of the legislation include: Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), Kathy Castor (D-FL), John Sarbanes (D-MD), Jerry McNerney (D-CA), Peter Welch (D-VT), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), David Loebsack (D-IA), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), Raul Ruiz (D-CA), Scott Peters (D-CA), Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA), Darren Soto (D-FL), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Joseph P. Kennedy (D-MA).

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