Tuesday, September 25, 2018

No justification for weaker CAFE standards

Interior view of the 2019 Ford F-150 Limited edition pickup truck. Such luxurious features in what were once utilitarian vehicles showcase automakers' impressive design and technology capabilities. The key policy question is how well these capabilities can be harnessed to improve fuel economy rather than offering ever more niceties at the expense of better protecting the environment. [photo: Ford Motor Company media] 

This week the administration is holding public hearings on their proposal to weaken Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards after 2020. What follows is the comment I prepared for the hearing being held today in Dearborn, Michigan. 

Comment on CAFE and GHG Standards Proposed Rule
for MY 2021-2026

John M. DeCicco, Ph.D.
University of Michigan Energy Institute*

Thank you for the opportunity to present this comment today.

Having reviewed the proposed rule, I find that it fails to scientifically or economically justify freezing the standards for model years 2021 through 2026. My assessments show that the greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy standards for those years remain sound.

My overarching conclusion is that there is no justification for changing the standards.

The one new development with any significance is that fuel prices are lower now than projected. However, this does not justify weakening the standards. Lower prices are all the more reason why fuel economy and emission standards should remain untouched.