Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, August 2, 2018

Contact: Vera Pardee, (858) 717-1488,

Trump Administration Proposes Gutting Vehicle Fuel-efficiency, Tailpipe Pollution Standards

WASHINGTON— The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Environmental Protection Agency issued a proposed rule today that would freeze fuel-efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks after model year 2020. The proposal also seeks to revoke California’s ability to maintain its own standards at the more stringent levels set in 2012.

“This is one of the Trump administration’s deadliest proposals yet,” said Vera Pardee, senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute. “It would lock us into decades of toxic and planet-warming emissions from new gas-guzzlers on our roads. From power plants to cars to oil and gas drilling, Trump is hell-bent on dismantling every protection against fossil fuel pollution, no matter the body count he leaves behind.”

In January 2017 the EPA issued a mid-term evaluation concluding that the existing fuel-efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for model years 2022-2025 were readily achievable. The EPA found that the standards created overwhelming benefits for the public, including nearly $92 billion in savings at the pump over the lifetime of vehicles meeting the standards, and if anything could be strengthened.

On April 2, 2018 the EPA announced it was withdrawing that mid-term evaluation to weaken the standards. The Center, along with six other environmental groups, filed a legal petition challenging that decision.

Projections indicate that freezing the standards at 2020 levels would result in Americans burning up to 881,000 more barrels of oil per day by 2035. That increase is more oil than the U.S. currently imports daily from Saudi Arabia.

Fossil-fuel vehicles are now the nation’s largest source of greenhouse gas pollution. They also emit pollutants that cause smog and ground-level ozone that lead to asthma, other serious health problems and higher rates of pollution-caused death.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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