The Trump Administration has proposed freezing existing federal fuel economy standards for cars and SUVs at 2020 levels, undoing increases for model years 2022-2025 set by the Obama Administration with the ironically-named Safer and Affordable Fuel Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles rule.
But clever acronyms can’t cover up the fact that Trump’s fuel economy standard rollback would be a disaster for the United States. New modeling by Energy Innovation predicts that freezing these standards would cost the U.S. economy more than $450 billion through 2050.
The Trump Administration has also threatened to revoke California’s right under the Clean Air Act to set its own vehicle emissions standards, which have been adopted by 13 states plus Washington, D.C., totaling 35 percent of the U.S. automobile market. California has vowed to fight this move in court, and if California prevails, the fuel economy freeze would only affect 65 percent of the market, lowering the costs of the proposal to $274 billion through 2050.