WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), issued the following statement on the Trump administration’s proposed Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for cars and trucks in Model Years 2021 to 2026.
“I applaud the Trump administration for proposing new standards for cars and trucks,” said Barrasso. “Unless the Obama administration’s punishing standards are changed, consumer choice will be limited and the cost of vehicles will skyrocket. When setting standards, Washington must consider what is best for the whole country. The previous administration ignored that concern. Americans shouldn’t be denied the ability to purchase a car or truck that meets their needs. The standards must allow people to buy the vehicles they require, at a price they can afford.”
The people of Wyoming drive longer distances and larger vehicles than residents in any other state. The average driver logs over 21,000 miles a year behind the wheel. Continued access to larger vehicles that run on gasoline and diesel is critical for the people of the state. In Wyoming, 82 percent of the vehicles sold last year were trucks, vans, and SUVs. 99 percent of drivers use vehicles that run on gasoline or diesel fuel. In the entire state, there were just 88 electric vehicles registered in 2017.
The Obama-era standards projected to take away consumer choice. EPA indicated in its Midterm Evaluation that car companies would be forced to increase electric vehicle sales to meet standards even though consumers don’t want to buy them. Nationwide, battery electric, fuel cell, and plug-in hybrid vehicles accounted for only 1 percent of vehicles sold in 2017.
On April 2, 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it would propose revisions to the GHG emissions standards for cars and light-duty trucks. The agency also committed to work with the U.S. Department of Transportation as it determines the appropriate fuel economy standards.
EPA first issued Model Years 2022 to 2025 standards in 2012 under the Obama administration. The Obama administration then refused to change the standards in 2016 during a so-called “Mid-Term Evaluation” despite a clear need for revisions. Changes to the standards are warranted because the projections made in 2012 no longer reflect market realities on a variety of issues, including consumer preferences and fuel prices.