EPA Finishes Review – Leaves Strong Clean Cars Standards in Place

January 13, 2017
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396, sstein@edf.org
(Washington, D.C. – January 12, 2017) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made a final determination today to uphold America’s strong and protective Clean Cars Standards.

“The Clean Cars Standards are already successfully protecting both Americans’ lungs and their wallets. They’re also driving innovations that are creating auto industry jobs,” said Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund. “Today’s determination ensures that we can all continue to breathe – and drive – a little easier.”

The Clean Cars Standards are already increasing fuel economy in our cars, reducing unhealthy air pollution, and helping families save money at the gas pump.

EPA just finished a mid-term review of the later model year standards, including extensive feedback from the auto industry and the public. They announced their final determination today after finding that: 

    • The current standards will save consumers money and provide benefits to the health and welfare of Americans.
    • Automakers have outperformed the standards for the first four years of the program (from model year 2012 to 2015) and manufacturers are adopting fuel efficient technologies at unprecedented rates – all while vehicle sales have increased for 7 consecutive years to an all-time record high in 2016.
    • There are more than 100 cars, SUVs, and pickups on the market today that already meet 2020 or later standards.
    • Auto manufacturers can meet the model year 2022 to 2025 standards at lower costs than predicted when the standards were finalized in 2012.

The current standards apply to cars and light trucks up to model year 2025. They build on the successful first phase of standards adopted earlier for model years 2012 to 2016. The overall U.S. Clean Cars program is expected to almost double the average fuel economy of the nation’s fleet of cars and light trucks by 2025, and has won widespread support from automakers and unions alike.

For example, the United Autoworkers told EPA, “Our competitors around the globe are working to strengthen environmental standards and it would be counterproductive to enact policies that provide disincentives for investing in advanced technologies and improving efficiency. History has taught us that a diverse fleet is essential for strong export sales and keeping jobs in the United States. Efficiency and emission standards can and must continue to be a win-win for the environment, working families, domestic manufacturing and the overall economy.”

In part due to the Clean Cars Standards, the auto industry has started to bring a new generation of fuel-saving solutions to market. Many of these new technologies go beyond what is needed to meet the existing standards because there is a robust market for clean cars.

For instance, just this month Ford CEO Mark Field said, “As more and more consumers around the world become interested in electrified vehicles, Ford is committed to being a leader in providing consumers with a broad range of electrified vehicles, services and solutions that make people’s lives better. Our investments and expanding lineup reflect our view that global offerings of electrified vehicles will exceed gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 15 years.”

You can find more in our blog post, 5 Things You Should Know About America’s Clean Car Standards, or on EDF’s website. 

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