Rss@dailykos.com (meteor Blades) · Wednesday, March 08, 2017, 8:42 pm
Eleven Democratic senators have signed a letter to Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt calling on him not to do what’s rumored could happen this week: rolling back the fuel-efficiency standards for cars and light trucks and prohibiting California from imposing stricter standards than the federal government does. All this could be a major setback for electric cars. That, of course, makes no never mind to Pr*sident Trump or Pruitt, both of them climate science deniers, and both attached at the hip and wallet to the fossil fuel industry.
Led by Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey, the senators, all Democrats except for independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, wrote:
These automobile emissions standards are economically feasible and technologically achievable for the auto industry as the Final Determination demonstrates. They will enhance our national security by reducing our consumption of foreign oil. They will benefit consumers, saving them billions of dollars at the pump and reduce our carbon pollution. They provide certainty to the auto industry, which is already investing in the technologies and designs for the vehicles they will sell in these later years of the program. It is critical that they remain in place.
The standards—formally known as the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE)—were first established in 1975 in the wake of the Arab oil embargo. They imposed a rise in fuel economy that boosted the average efficiency of passenger cars from 18.5 miles per gallon in 1978 to 27.5 mpg in 1985. But that is where they stayed for the next 26 years.
Then in 2011, President Obama jawboned a reluctant but economically beleaguered auto industry into agreeing to double that average to 54.5 mpg by 2025. Today, the average is hovering around 36 mpg, right where it was supposed to be for the 2017 models.