Declaring his goal of making Detroit “the car capital of the world again,” Pres. Donald Trump came to the Motor City on Wednesday bearing what could be a major gift for the domestic carmakers – but one that quickly raised concerns among environmentalists.
The business-cum-politician said he was ordering the EPA to reopen a mid-term review of Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standards that would require the industry to deliver a fleet average of at least 54.5 mpg by 2025. Many – though not all – manufacturers have warned they cannot meet that target without raising vehicle prices beyond what consumers could afford, something Ford CEO Mark Fields in January told the president could cost 1 million automotive jobs.
The announcement that the government would review both the mileage target and timing was actually less of a radical development than many had expected, some industry observers questioning whether the new administration might slash the numbers immediately or, perhaps, repeal CAFE entirely as part of Trump’s promise to reduce government regulations. (more…)