When news broke that the Trump Administration was reviewing the clean car standards protecting consumers and the environment, numerous states, unions, consumer, health, and environmental groups sounded the alarm. The current standard, which regulates greenhouse gases and fuel economy, was one of the biggest environmental victories of this decade. By 2025, these standards were designed to reduce carbon emissions from new passenger vehicles in the United States by 50% and double fuel economy.
In fact, they are one of the most substantial global efforts to reduce carbon pollution. And fuel economy improvement continues to have strong public support in the US, with some 87% of Americans agreeing that automakers should continue to improve fuel economy.
Many stakeholders, from states, to environmental and consumer groups, to even auto suppliers, warned the administration against overreach. But no one really knew how severe the proposed weakening of the standards would look like, the flawed research they would use to justify their decisions, or who would win and lose from them.
Now we do – and it’s not pretty.