On Wednesday, the Trump Administration announced it would review Obama’s historic greenhouse gas standards that aimed to double fuel efficiency to 54.5 mpg by 2025 for cars and trucks. Trump’s move can be viewed as a first step to relax the standards.
And it comes under pressures from the auto industry, which in my view falsely claims that these rules threaten manufacturing jobs. The last time the government weakened fuel efficiency standards based on similar claims, the US auto industry suffered a long decline and came close to extinction in 2008 when GM and Chrysler went bankrupt.
History has shown that fewer regulations are not always a win for America’s auto industry. When the US relaxed efficiency rules in the mid-1980s, foreign automakers controlled about 25% of the market. Today they own 55%. Repealing existing standards once again will not only set back efforts to mitigate climate change, undermine the consumers pocketbook, and cost jobs, but it will again set America’s auto companies on a collision course.
It was back in 1986 that the US automakers first convinced the government to relax fuel economy.