WASHINGTON, DC - As President Obama visits the International North American Auto Show in Detroit today, some automakers are questioning his administration’s historic rule to double fuel economy for passenger cars and trucks by 2025. The standards, which are projected to cut global warming pollution by 6 billion tons in the next decade, will undergo a two-year formal review process beginning this year.
The president’s visit follows a record year for the auto industry, whose profits were buoyed by the sales of trucks and SUV’s. Analysts point to sales of these less-efficient vehicles as one reason fuel-economy dipped last year despite the new efficiency rules.
“With last year officially the hottest on record and the majority of Americans united on the need to act on climate, now is no time go backwards on fuel efficiency,” said Aminah Zaghab, advocate for Environment America’s Clean Cars program. “To the contrary, to stem the climate crisis we need to exceed current miles-per-gallon standards and ultimately shift to 100 percent clean, electric vehicles.”
The Obama administration has also proposed rules to tighten pollution and efficiency standards for heavy-duty trucks and buses, which make up a small but significant proportion of the transportation sector’s global warming pollution.
“From some of the flashy rides featured at today’s auto show to big lumbering trucks and buses, all our vehicles can and should be more efficient and less polluting,” said Zaghab. “Transportation is the country’s second largest source of global warming pollution. Clean trucks, buses, and cars must continue to be part of the solution to climate change.”