Senator Markey Blasts EPA Forthcoming Decision to Roll Back Strong Fuel Economy Emissions Standards

Effort would undermine national security, consumer savings, and climate pollution reductions


Washington (March 26, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee and Chair of the Senate Climate Task Force, released the following statement after media reported that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has drafted a so-called final determination that would relax standards requiring automakers to reduce emissions for model year 2022-2025 cars and light trucks. The EPA is required to unveil a new final determination by April 1 after reopening the process. The Obama administration’s historic 54.5 mpg standard was partially enabled by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which included fuel economy standards co-authored by Senator Markey when he was in the House of Representatives.


“The historic fuel economy emissions standards save consumers money at the pump, protect our national security by reducing our reliance of foreign oil, and are the single greatest action the United States has taken to fight climate change,” said Senator Markey. “Under these standards, the U.S. auto industry has created hundreds of thousands of jobs and returned to global competitiveness. Despite what EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and his Big Oil cronies say, these standards are not only economically feasible and technologically achievable, they are imperative. The Trump administration should not make a U-turn on these critical standards and slam the breaks on all the benefits for consumers, our country and our planet.”


In December 2017, Senator Markey, Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) led a group of 24 Senators in calling on the EPA to not weaken light-duty vehicle emissions standards for model 2022-2025 and strenuously objecting to revisiting emissions standards for model year 2021, which were never supposed to be part of the EPA’s midterm evaluation.


Since reaching an historic agreement with the Obama administration and state leaders, the auto industry has gone from the brink of economic disaster to record auto sales in 2015 and 2016, including adding 700,000 U.S. jobs. The average fuel efficiency of vehicles has already gone up five miles per gallon since 2004, saving drivers tens of billions of dollars. The EPA has found that the net benefits of the fuel economy standards are nearly $100 billion and would reduce oil consumption by 1.2 billion barrels.