Matsui and Colleagues Urge Biden Administration to Rescind Trump Rule Delaying Penalties for Fuel Economy Violations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-06) and 16 colleagues, sent a letter to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Deputy Administrator Steven Cliff, urging him to rescind a Trump Administration rule delaying the effective date of inflation-adjusted penalties for violating fuel-economy standards.

“In 2015, Congress required that NHTSA increase its civil penalties for fuel economy violations to account for inflation – an increase from $5.50 to $14.00 per tenth of a mile per gallon,” the lawmakers wrote. “The Trump Administration sought to subvert this Congressional directive by first indefinitely delaying and then completely rejecting the increase in civil penalties.”

Robust fuel economy standards have spurred dramatic reductions in fuel consumption as well as greenhouse gases and harmful tailpipe emissions. They also provide relief to communities threatened by the climate crisis and suffering from the effects of air pollution. The key to a successful fuel economy program is based on meaningful enforcement and civil penalties for non-compliance. However, the Trump Administration finalized a rule delaying congressionally mandated penalties for automakers who violate fuel economy standards.

“You have an opportunity to change course to fulfill the new Administration’s goal to conserve energy, combat climate change, and protect public health.  We urge you to rescind the Trump Administration’s rule and apply the full civil penalty for fuel economy violations now,” the lawmakers continued.

A copy of the letter can be found HERE.

The letter was co-signed by Representatives Mark Takano (D-CA), Juan Vargas (D-CA), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), André Carson (D-IN), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL), Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Mike Thompson (D-CA), Mondaire Jones (D-NY), Nanette Barragán (D-CA), and Jerry McNerney (D-CA).

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