Rule will increase fuel economy standards for vehicles for Model Years 2024-2026, but does not go far enough to make up for Trump’s rollbacks
Washington (April 1, 2022) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chair of the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate, and Nuclear Safety and member of the Committee of Commerce, Science, and Transportation, released the following statement today after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its final rule of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards for Model Years 2024-2026 for Passenger Cars and Light Trucks. The final rule will increase the average fuel economy of passenger cars to 49 miles per gallon for Model Year 2026, save Americans $145 billion in fuel savings by 2030, reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 607 million metric tons, and reduce health impacts from air pollution.
“At a time when Americans are suffering from profiteering and conflict-driven price spikes at the pump, today’s final rule allows cars to go even further on a gallon of gas while protecting communities from harmful air pollution and creating jobs in the auto industry. While important progress, I look forward to working with DOT to continue raising our standards for vehicles,” said Senator Markey. “As I laid out in my 500-day plan, fuel economy and energy efficiency are key to putting the United States on a path to energy independence, cutting costs for consumers, insulating drivers from volatile gas prices, protecting public health, and saving our planet from the existential threat of climate change.”  
Senator Markey has been a fuel economy champion since standards were enabled by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which included fuel economy language co-authored by then-Rep. Markey. That law included Markey’s language that said the standard must be at least 35 mpg by 2020, and that the “maximum feasible standard” must be set every year. During the Trump Administration, Senator Markey reintroduced the Greener Air Standards Mean Our National Security, Environment, and Youth (GAS MONEY) Saved Act, which would block efforts to roll back fuel economy and vehicle emission standards. On November 5, 2021, Senators Markey, Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), along with Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-06) led a letter to the Biden administration that urged the EPA to strengthen its proposed vehicle greenhouse gas emissions standards and choose the most stringent alternative, as well as ensure that all credits actually produce real-world emissions benefits. The November 2021 letter also was signed by Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). In March 2021, Senator Markey and Rep. Matsui were joined by their colleagues in letters to President Biden urging the administration to reset ambitious fuel economy and vehicle greenhouse gas emission standards, using the Obama-era standards as a baseline.