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Proposed CAFE Standards Fall Short of Action Necessary to Slow Climate Crisis

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today released a proposed rule on standards for corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) for new light duty vehicles built in 2027. The rules call for auto manufacturers to increase average combined fuel economy to 48.4 miles-per-gallon by 2027. Chelsea Hodgkins, senior zero emission vehicle policy advocate with Public Citizen’s Climate Team issued the following statement: 

“Today’s announcement from NHTSA is welcome but falls short of delivering the pollution reductions needed to meet climate goals. Not only are these standards too easily achievable by automakers, they fall short of the drastic changes we need to make in order to slow the climate crisis and protect our most vulnerable communities.

“The transportation sector accounts for the highest source of climate-warming emissions in the U.S. Automakers with booming profits must stop acting against our collective wellbeing using complaints about higher costs of compliance to lower standards. The technology to further improve fuel efficiency is readily available. In fact, many automakers have been increasing efficiency over the years while still making booming profits. Enough is enough.

“Stronger CAFE standards are critical for climate justice. Requiring cars to go farther with each gallon of fuel used will reduce toxic car pollution linked to negative health impacts disproportionately affecting pregnant people, children and communities of color. When enacted, these rules will lessen climate-warming emissions necessary to a livable future while saving consumers money by reducing the number of times they fill up at the pump.

“We will press NHTSA for stronger standards that meet the urgency of the moment and address the devastating harm from fossil fuels to our health and our future.”

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