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U.S. Fuel Economy Standards Could Be Frozen at 2021 Levels

One result of President Trump ordering the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to review standards for fuel economy through 2025 is that Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards may be frozen at 2021 levels, according to Reuters.

Under the Obama administration, CAFE standards established in 2011 were to continue increasing until nearly doubling the fleet-wide average to around 50 miles per gallon in 2025. Under federal law, Reuters reported, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration must set “maximum feasible” Corporate Average Fuel Economy requirements, while considering “technological feasibility, economic practicability … and the need of the United States to conserve energy.”

Although carmakers were part of the 2011 negotiations, some complained that regulators hadn’t conducted a proper review to ensure the mileage targets were indeed feasible. Responding to those arguments, President Trump ordered the DOT to revisit the CAFE numbers for 2022-2025, which must be finalized by April 2018.

The DOT announced that as part of a new environmental impact study in response to the president’s order, it might freeze CAFE levels through 2025 at the 2021 standard, a year before the new fuel economy regulations were set to take effect.

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