Jody Freeman writes: One of the signal achievements of the Obama administration was reaching an agreement with the auto industry to dramatically increase fuel efficiency standards for vehicles, doubling them to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.
The industry now wants to renege. At its behest, the Trump administration is expected to initiate a rollback.
Weakening these standards would be a mistake for consumers, the environment and the auto industry itself. They are the most important action the United States has taken to address climate change and reduce the nation’s dependence on oil.
From 2022-25 alone, they are projected to reduce American oil consumption by 1.2 billion barrels, cut half a billion metric tons of carbon pollution and save consumers millions of dollars in fuel costs, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The net benefits to society are estimated at $100 billion. And these gains are on top of those achieved through 2016 and expected through 2021. [Continue reading…]