General Motors, Ford, Toyota and 15 other major automakers have urged President Donald Trump to reverse a decision by the Obama administration to lock in fuel efficiency rules for model years 2022-2025 cars and light trucks.
In a letter obtained by Reuters the chief executives of GM, Ford, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, along with the top North American executives at Toyota, Volkswagen, Honda, Hyundai and Nissan called on Trump to to reopen the midterm review “without prejudging the outcome” and praised Trump’s “personal focus on steps to strengthen the economy in the United States and your commitment to jobs in our sector.”
Despite automakers’ concerns that the new fuel economy standards are neither achievable nor cost-effective, the EPA on Jan. 13 finalized rules that it said will result in fleetwide average fuel economy sticker values of 36 miles a gallon by the model year 2025, 10 miles a gallon higher than the current fleet average.
This also concluded the mid-term review of the Obama administration’s car pollution standards, which have required automakers to improve cars’ fuel efficiency and reduce emissions every year beginning with model year 2012. To get the industry to agree to the standards in 2011, the administration agreed to conduct a mid-term review.
Both actions — the finalized standards and the end of the mid-term review — happened earlier than expected. The final determination was due by April 2018. Automakers say the EPA rushed the process in a political move to push the rules through before Trump took office on Jan. 20.
Ford and other major automakers immediately began lobbying Trump and the EPA to roll back the fuel-efficiency standards. In late January Trump met with Ford CEO Mark Fields, General Motors CEO Mary Barra and Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne where the executives also raised the issue.
The new letter, according to Reuters, warned the rules could “threaten future production levels, putting hundreds of thousands and perhaps as many as a million jobs at risk.”
EPA nominee Scott Pruitt told a Senate panel he will review the Obama administration’s fuel-efficiency standards.