EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy suggests her decision is based on hundreds of published reports, independent reviews and eight years of research.The Environmental Protection Agency has finalized its 54.5-mpg corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) target for 2025.As crossovers and SUVs continue to surge in popularity amid years of comparatively low gasoline prices, automakers recently ramped up a lobbying campaign to water down the regulations.
The efforts appear to have failed and may have actually encouraged the current EPA leadership to fast-track the decision before Trump's administration arrives in office. The President-elect has been critical of the EPA and vowed to implement pro-business policies.
"My decision today rests on the technical record created by over eight years of research, hundreds of published reports including an independent review by the National Academy of Sciences, hundreds of stakeholder meetings, and multiple opportunities for the public and the industry to provide input," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. "At every step in the process the analysis has shown that the greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and light trucks remain affordable and effective through 2025, and will save American drivers billions of dollars at the pump while protecting our health and the environment."
The standards are projected to result in average fleet-wide fuel economy sticker values of 36 mpg by model-year 2025, representing a 10-mpg jump over today's current fleet average.
The EPA suggests the current standards have not had a negative impact on car sales, with 2016 setting a record high and capping seven consecutive years of sales growth.
"The Administrator is retaining the current standards to provide regulatory certainty for the auto industry despite a technical record that suggests the standards could be made more stringent," the agency added.