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10 Major Automakers Meet With Trump Over CAFE Today

Session could focus on opposition from California.

by on May.11, 2018

Former Ford CEO Mark Fields generated controversy last year when he warned Pres. Trump CAFE could cost 1 million U.S. jobs.

Senior executives from ten of the auto industry’s largest manufacturers will be meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House today to discuss the administration’s plans to roll back federal fuel economy standards.

A draft proposal developed by the Environmental Protection Agency would freeze requirements at 2020 levels rather than continuing a phase-in established by the Obama White House that was set to reach 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. The new target would come in somewhere in the low 40 mpg range and hold through 2026.

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But the meeting could prove to be an anxious one. Consumer and environmental groups have been ramping up opposition and any announcement from the White House would come at a time when fuel prices are surging to levels not seen in years. Meanwhile, any rollback could pit the Trump Administration – and the auto industry – against California which is threatening to effectively stall the cuts by using authority given the state under the Clean Air Act of 1970.

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EPA Reportedly Wants 25% Cut in Fuel Economy

Revised Trump plan would freeze CAFE at 2020 level.

by on Apr.30, 2018

The EPA's mileage rollback is coming just as gas prices start to surge. Critics warn automakers of a backlash if the numbers reach previous highs.

The EPA and NHTSA are expected to propose cutting the current federal fuel economy mandate by nearly 25% while also revoking the State of California’s ability to set its own tougher standards.

Embattled EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has repeatedly signaled a desire to roll back the rules set under the Obama Administration that current target a fuel economy average of 54.5 mpg by 2025. Reports based on sources at the environmental agency indicate that would drop to 41.7 mpg, the figure that the phase-in of the Obama rules would have reached by 2020. There would be no further increase, under the proposal, until 2026.

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That has triggered an outcry from consumer and environmental groups, but an even more controversial piece of the EPA draft memo would forbid California from taking steps on its own to effectively neuter the rollback. Under current law the state can set tougher tailpipe rules than the EPA and other states can adopt California’s guideline, something that could effectively require automakers to stick with the current CAFE rules.

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Study Finds Strong Support for Keeping Mileage Rules Among Key Auto Suppliers

EPA expected to announce CAFE revisions by April 1.

by on Mar.22, 2018

The auto industry is waiting anxiously to see if and how the Trump Administration rewrites the current Corporate Average Fuel Economy mandate.

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce revisions to federal mileage rules by April 1, but while a number of automakers are hoping to see a sharp cutback in the standards a new study finds key automotive suppliers hoping the Trump Administration will let the rules stand as they are, ramping up to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

After completing a mandated mid-term review just before leaving office, the Obama Administration decided to maintain that target. But soon after President Donald Trump entered the White House, his EPA chief Scott Pruitt said he would revisit the Corporate Average Fuel Economy mandate, appearing to side with auto industry critics who complained CAFE was set to price many buyers out of the new car market.

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The debate has led to an unusual split between automakers like Ford and General Motors, who want to roll back the rules, and a number of auto suppliers who support the 54.5 mpg target, according to several reports, including a new study by CALSTART, a California-based consortium aimed at developing clean transportation technologies.

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American Motorists Overwhelmingly Favor Stricter Mileage Rules, Finds New Study

Fuel savings far greater than cost of more efficient technology, says Consumer Federation.

by on Jul.24, 2017

Gas may be cheap, but American motorists are still demanding better fuel economy, says new survey.

Nearly eight of 10 Americans – including 68% of Republicans – favor the strict Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standards set to phase in between now and 2025, according to a new study by the Consumer Federation of America.

The non-profit group published the results of its findings as the Trump Administration prepares to reopen a review of the mileage regulations enacted under President Barack Obama. CFA officials also countered auto industry claims that the CAFE rules are too expensive, arguing that motorists would save more than $900 on fuel over a five-year period, or nearly three times more than high-mileage technology would add to the price of the typical vehicle.

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During a teleconference, CFA Public Affairs Director Jack Gillis said he believes the odds for a rollback are growing “weaker and weaker,” and warned such a move would likely trigger an intense legal battle.

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Almost 9 in 10 Americans Demand Even Better Mileage

Consumers Union survey could counter any Trump Admin push to curb fuel economy rules.

by on Jun.29, 2017

Fuel prices dropped in time for the July 4 holiday, but motorists still want better mileage.

One of the first moves made by newly inaugurated Pres. Donald Trump was to re-open the “mid-term” review of the federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standard set to reach 54.5 mpg by 2025.

But if that review were to curtail the fuel economy target it could face strong resistance from the American motoring public, according to a new study by Consumers Union. According to the non-profit group, nearly nine in 10 Americans believe the auto industry should continue to drive towards more fuel efficient vehicles.

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“Consumers see the value in fuel efficiency, and the technology more than pays for itself through fuel savings,” said Shannon Baker-Branstetter, the policy counsel for Consumers Union. “As automakers increase vehicle efficiency, consumers benefit from greater savings.”

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Carmakers Want Peace With California

AAM’s Bainwol hopes midterm CAFE review brings consensus.

by on Apr.14, 2017

AAM President Mitch Bainwol is hoping the results of the recently re-instituted midterm review fuel-economy standards will bring consensus.

The auto industry isn’t looking for a war with the State of California, says Mitch Bainwol, president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.

However, the alliance does want to see a dispassionate review of federal fuel-economy standards, Bainwol said during an appearance at the NADA-J.D. Power Automotive Forum in New York City this week, which is why it supported the Trump administration’s decision to review the federal standards imposed earlier this year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by former President Barack Obama.

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The 2022-2025 standards were imposed without the technical study or midterm review, which would determine whether the standards could be met technically and at a reasonable cost, Bainwol said. The Trump administration’s action basically re-instates the midterm review, which should offer a clear view of whether the standards could drive up the cost of new vehicles, he said. (more…)

CAFE Rollback Wouldn’t Bring Much Change to Product Plans, Says Ford President

The big impact is likely to be on Ford’s sales mix.

by on Apr.11, 2017

Ford President Joe Hinrichs reveals the new Police Responder Hybrid at a New York preview.

President Donald Trump’s executive order reopening the “mid-term review” of federal fuel economy mandates will likely have a much smaller impact than critics have feared, according to a top Ford Motor Co. executive and other industry leaders.

Even if that review did lead to a rollback of the 54.5 mpg Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standards set to phase in between now and 2025, said Ford’s President of the America Joe Hinrichs, the maker’s long-term product plans are largely already in motion. If there’s any change, it will be in Ford’s sales mix.

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“With the typical industry product cycle, which is five to six years, what’s we’re going to launch is already in the pipeline,” said Hinrichs, during the unveiling of a new hybrid police cruiser ahead of the annual New York International Auto Show.

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