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Trump’s Fiddling With Fuel Economy Standards: Blocked

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A United State Court of Appeals in New York just blocked the Trump Administration’s attempt to continue delaying penalties associated with automakers failing to meet federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy targets.

The Trump administration has threatened for many months to repeal the Obama-Era Greenhouse Gas and Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards that require automakers to improve their cars’ fuel economy over the years.


In July of 2017, the Department of Transportation announced that it was “re-examining” the penalties that automakers would have to pay if they couldn’t meet fuel economy standards, and that it was delaying the date that such a penalty would go into effect. This spurred the the National Resource Defense Council, a nonprofit environmental group, to sue the DOT.

Now the second circuit of the United States Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of the NRDC, restoring the penalty that Engadget says was supposed to have gone into effect in July of 2017. That penalty, according to the tech blog, meant “raising the penalty rate by $8.50 for every tenth of a mile per gallon beyond the minimum fuel standard” to push automakers to meet MPG targets.


The NDRC wrote in its blog about the importance of the court’s decision on its website, saying:

This ruling is a victory for consumers, our economic security, public health and the planet because the Trump administration’s illegal maneuvers to undercut needed fuel economy safeguards was thwarted. The Trump administration should be standing up for the public that overwhelmingly supports strong fuel economy standards and enforcing strong penalties on automakers that fail to meet those standards.

The organization goes on to say that it will continue fighting the good fight, writing:

Industry should never be given an easy pass to pollute. Federal agencies should do their jobs protecting the public health and environment. And when they don’t, here and elsewhere, we’ll be standing by to bring them into court.


It looks like it may not be so easy to simply cut fuel economy and emissions regulations after all. Though there’s no doubt that the Trump administration will continue trying.