U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that the administration plans to roll back fuel economy standards (also called clean car standards) set by President Barack Obama. Pruitt rented a room in a Capitol Hill townhouse co-owned by health care lobbyist Vicki Hart, whose husband J. Steven Hart lobbies for industries that have business before the EPA. Among his clients: the American Automotive Policy Council, which includes the automakers Fiat Chrysler, Ford and General Motors. Ford and General Motors have met with EPA staff to discuss fuel economy standards. All three are members of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which has been pressing for the EPA to lower the standards.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and the Trump administration are conspiring with the major automakers to loot nearly $100 billion from American consumers. The clean car standards that Pruitt is today seeking to roll back will save families thousands at the gas pump over the lifetime of a car if they are left intact.

This is not an issue of consumer choice. No consumer wants to spend more on gas. Nor is this a matter of achievability. The automakers already are meeting the fuel economy standards that they helped craft.  As well and more importantly, they’re doing so even more affordably than expected.

The only good news in this Pruitt move is that it likely will fail in court. The science and economics of higher fuel efficiency standards are overwhelming.

Statement of Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen

April 2, 2018

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