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Vehicle Standards Should Be Strengthened to Expand Choice, Save Consumers Money

August 10, 2017

WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the formal reopening and expansion of its midterm evaluation for new vehicle greenhouse gas standards for model years 2021-2025. The standards, originally set in 2012, were the culmination of a historic agreement between automakers, labor, consumer and environmental groups, California, and the federal government to establish “one national program.”

In response to EPA’s announcement today, Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization arm of Consumer Reports, issued the following statement:

“By reopening the midterm evaluation, EPA is bringing back questions that have already been asked and answered. In fact, EPA concluded a thorough assessment earlier this year that found the targets through 2025 could be met at an even lower cost than EPA had previously estimated,” said Shannon Baker-Branstetter, policy counsel for Consumers Union. “And by expanding the review to include Model Year 2021, EPA is opening the door even further to eroding standards beyond what was previously contemplated. If EPA goes through with its review, they should leave 2021 off the table and they must conduct a fair, transparent assessment that includes the voices of consumers. If progress toward more efficient vehicles is put in reverse, consumers are the ones who will bear the financial burden.”

“Consumers want to save money on gas and they want government to help them by continuing to set strong standards for cars, trucks and SUVs, according to our latest surveys,”said Baker-Branstetter. “In fact, consumers are especially concerned about the fuel efficiency of the crossovers and SUVs they’ve been gravitating toward in recent years. Larger vehicles have the most room for improvement, so maintaining, or even strengthening, standards is critical to protect fuel savings for consumers.”

More Information:
2017 Survey on Consumer Attitudes on Fuel Economy

Consumers Union Vehicle Affordability Analysis

Contact: Jason Kuruvilla, 202-719-5923, jason.kuruvilla@consumer.org