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Consumer Reports statement on news reports of White House fuel economy plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Associated Press is reporting details of a White House plan for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions for new cars and trucks, based on information from unnamed government and industry officials in advance of an announcement expected as early as next week.

AP is reporting that the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation will unveil a proposal in the wake of the previous administration’s rollback of standards, starting with California’s 2019 framework on emissions standards that the state put forth with some automakers in response to the rollback.

The California framework has been criticized for providing too many loopholes and exemptions requested by the automotive industry. Consumer Reports analysis has shown that this framework would only deliver about half of the consumer and climate benefits when compared with the original Obama-Biden standards.

​​While today’s news reports suggest that the new proposal would put the country back on track with much stronger standards, that does not take into account the ground lost due to the previous administration’s rollbacks. Initial analysis by Consumer Reports indicates that the proposal may not get us any further than the California framework would have, and could get us there even slower.  

As gas prices continue to spike across the country, consumers need bold and forceful action that expands consumers’ access to more cars that run further on less or no gas at all. Based on the preliminary reported information, CR is urging the Biden administration to put much stronger standards in place, sooner than the reported proposal would call for.

Chris Harto, senior policy analyst, transportation and energy for Consumers Reports, said, “We’re anxious to see the details of a formal plan, but these reports suggest that we need a better plan with stronger standards to deliver savings for consumers and reduce both air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The California framework is not a great model or starting point to get back on track.”

Contact: Carsen Mata, carsen.mata@consumer.org