In the ongoing battle between the Trump Administration and seemingly everyone else over the future of fuel economy standards, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has weighed in. Naturally, they have sided with everyone else.
In a letter addressed to Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley wrote that freezing fuel economy standards at the 2020 model year for six years is not a good way to go.
It is also clear that the administration’s proposal to hold standards flat beginning in model year 2020 is insufficient—continued progress on fuel economy and emissions reductions can be achieved without undue harm to the economy, and predictable year-over-year efficiency improvements are key to enabling the U.S. to maintain environmental and manufacturing leadership.
This declaration means the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sides with automakers, who have reached their own agreement with CARB and generally oppose the fuel economy freezing.
Although the letter unsurprisingly declares there is “a growing consensus that the current standards, which require steep annual mileage improvements through model year 2025, are not reasonably achievable and must be significantly revised,” it is similarly unsurprising the Chamber of Commerce sides with big business.
As we’ve previously written, the rollback is a nightmare for companies that plan product cycles three-to-six years in advance. It is, far more importantly, a nightmare for the planet, as we have roughly ten years to drastically reduce global emissions to avoid a total climate disaster.