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EPA administrator Gina McCarthy recently proposed leaving the emissions standards for model years 2022-2025 in place. This action happened earlier than expected - the EPA was slated to reassess the fuel economy standards next year - and is part of the agency's push to cement the Obama administration's climate legacy and regulations before president-elect Donald Trump takes office in January.
The EPA and the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration finalized the Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) program in 2012. To get automakers and the United Auto Workers union to sign on to the rules, which won broad support from business, health and environmental groups, the federal agencies agreed to conduct a mid-term review, which began this summer.
As part of this review, the EPA said early this month it has determined that automakers can meet the 2022-2025 standards at lower costs than predicted in 2012.
It also said automakers have outperformed the standards for the first four years of the program (model year 2012-2015) and manufacturers are adopting fuel efficient technologies at unprecedented rates, all while vehicle sales have increased for six consecutive years. There are more than 100 car, SUV and pickup versions on the market today that already meet 2020 or later standards.
Automakers, on the other hand, called the EPA’s action “premature.”
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