by Steven Nadel, Executive Director
The Trump administration is reportedly launching a rollback of vehicle efficiency standards that greatly benefit the US economy. These standards save consumers money, create jobs, help reduce US reliance on foreign oil, and lower carbon emissions. The Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and greenhouse gas emissions standards adopted since 2009 will reduce fuel consumption by more than 2 million barrels of oil per day by 2025 (the equivalent of taking 53 million cars off the road) and will eliminate 6 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the lifetimes of vehicles of model years 2012-2025. Consumers will save over $1 trillion at the gas pump, which is more than three times the added cost of the more efficient vehicles. The energy savings compare favorably to any other efficiency policy out there: an ACEEE analysis of primary energy savings from recent and prospective policies—including the Clean Power Plan—showed vehicle standards to be the biggest saver from today through 2040.
Benefits of the program extend beyond savings for new car buyers. At the time the standards for model years 2017-2025 were proposed in 2011, ACEEE projected they would create 50,000 jobs in the auto sector by 2030 because of the additional components and labor needed to develop and produce more-efficient cars. Moreover, there would be a net gain of 570,000 jobs economy-wide by 2030. This gain represents new auto industry jobs as well as jobs created in all sectors because of car buyers’ spending of added disposable income from owning more-efficient vehicles. It takes into account jobs lost in oil-related sectors because of reduced demand for fuel…