02 Aug 2018 Black Leaders Applaud New Trump Administration Fuel Efficiency Rule
Washington, D.C. – Because of its ability to make new cars and light trucks safer and more affordable, the Trump Administration’s proposed rule to freeze a fuel efficiency mandate imposed on vehicle manufacturers by the previous administration is being applauded by the Project 21 black leadership network. This regulatory relief was specifically recommended in Project 21’s “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America” as a way to lower economic barriers and increase opportunity for small businesses and low-income households, among other groups.
“We commend the Trump Administration for its common-sense approach to fuel economy standards. It’s essential to have realistic CAFE goals that don’t force American families to choose between putting food on the table and having a modern vehicle,” said Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper, a former professor of constitutional law and senior counsel to congressional leadership. “The Trump proposal will help put consumers back in the driver’s seat by giving them the ability to select a household vehicle based on their actual needs rather than the utopian ideals of radicals.”
The “Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks,” issued jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation, proposes keeping Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) standards imposed on vehicle manufacturers at the 2020 rate through 2026. This means passenger cars could remain at a miles-per-gallon (MPG) requirement of 37 MPG instead of being forced to meet the 2025 54.5 MPG mandate imposed by the Obama Administration. In the rule, the Trump Administration said its intent is to “correct the national automobile fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards to give the American people greater access to safer, more affordable vehicles that are cleaner for the environment.”
Released last April, Project 21’s “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America” – a 57-point plan for removing barriers blocking blacks from empowerment and ensuring they have a chance to attain the American Dream – specifically recommended the federal government “[l]ower or rescind Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards (CAFE), which make cars less affordable and less safe.”
In a June letter to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt about reforming the Obama-era CAFE standards, Project 21 co-chairmen Horace Cooper, Council Nedd II and Stacy Washington pointed out that“[i]ncreasing black hardship and jeopardizing driver safety for such a small pay-off is simply irrational.” They added:
We’ve seen vehicle prices increase since 2009, a greater increase than any other durable good. Because these price increases hit all Americans equally irrespective of their ability to pay, CAFE regulations have a disparate negative impact on the poor, a significant portion of whom are black.
We also recognize that higher CAFE standards have a significant negative impact on vehicle safety while providing only “trivial moderation” of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
Project 21 deemed Chao and Pruitt’s earlier comments about reforming CAFE standards were “Blueprint Compliant,” meaning that they aligned with the goals of the “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America.”
Over the next 60 days the government will accept public comments on the SAFE Vehicles Rule before a final rule is issued.
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