The Trump Administration is looking to do away with yet another Obama-era policy. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing new rules that would roll back the strict fuel economy standards established by the Obama administration in 2012. Under those rules, automakers are required to reach an average of 50 miles-per-gallon fuel economy on all cars by 2025. The proposal follows recent efforts by the Trump Administration to roll back some of California's strict environmental standards.
The Trump proposal is welcome news to those who have fought the Obama standards. "The Trump administration has proposed to freeze (the Obama rules) at the level they would be in 2020, which is about 35 miles-per-gallon," says Steve Milloy, founder of JunkScience.com.
Milloy tells KTRH the Obama standard was never realistic to begin with. "There is no technology that exists, or is even on the drawing board, to meet the goal of 50 miles-per-gallon by 2025, so what the carmakers were going to have to do is fit more of us into more expensive electric vehicles or smaller cars," he says. And so far, the public has shown no appetite for those smaller, electric cars. "They take hours to charge, they get limited mileage, they're smaller, they're more uncomfortable," says Milloy. "It's a technology that's just not ready for primetime, maybe one day it will be, who knows?"
Milloy's research also finds that rolling back the Obama standards will have no measurable impact on carbon emissions or air quality. In fact, he believes government fuel economy standards are an idea that should be reconsidered, altogether. "Fuel economy standards were started in the 1970s during the energy crisis," he says. "That's all over, we are awash in oil, we really don't need fuel economy standards at all, and hopefully this is a first step toward getting rid of them."