Automaker Lobby Asks Trump To Roll Back Obama’s Strict CAFE Rules

The lobby group for many major automakers in the United States has urged newly-elected president Donald Trump to roll back stringent mileage rules implemented by the Obama administration.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers which represents the likes of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford, General Motors, BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi and Toyota, claims that the strict compliance requirements for 2017-2025 models “pose a substantial challenge to the auto sector”.

The Auto Alliance extended on this by saying “The combination of low gas prices and the existing fuel-efficiency gains from the early years of the program is undercutting consumer willingness to buy the vehicles with more expensive alternative powertrains that are necessary for the sector to comply with the more stringent standards in out-years.”

From the 2017 model year, local manufacturers are required to improve their fleet-wide average from 34 mph of 2016 up to 35 mpg in 2017 and by 2021, to sit at 41 mpg. A review of the years 2021-2025 will take place in April 2018 but at this stage, automakers could be required to reach a 50 mpg average by 2025.

The Detroit News
reports that automakers have been lobbying for changes to the rules over the past year but with Trump to take over from Obama in early January, it is thought that the Republican and climate change skeptic will be more willing to alter the laws than his predecessor.

“One can expect that the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress will take a new look at regulations that affect the auto industry and industry in general,” Jack Nerad, executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book, told the news site. “One obvious candidate are the current CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) regulations. In light of lower fuel prices and increased supplies of domestically produced fuel, we are likely to see a relaxation of the CAFE regulations.”

Opening photo via Donald Trump’s Facebook page


  • Big Black Duck

    Just like how Trump came in…they under estimate the people willing to not destroy the environment for the purpose of transportation….

  • Tumbi Mtika

    The Trump Effect…

  • Tumbi Mtika

    Also, can we all agree 2016 is the year of underestimation?

  • It’s Tesla Time

    Well, well, well…this is a rare time where I will actually praise Tesla. Why can’t we keep the goal of better fuel economy?

  • Shobin Drogan

    Two steps forward, ten steps back.

  • SgtBeavis

    I’m with Bob Lutz on this in that CAFE should be done away with. If we really want to drive up fuel efficiency, we should be raising gas taxes. Those tax dollars should be invested in infrastructure. More roads and bridges to handle increased traffic volume gives us back even better fuel economy and reduces pollution.

    The challenge beyond that is how do we administer taxes on electric vehicles in the future?

    • Jesse A. C. Majors

      That’s lazy. Use your engineers and build something that can get better mileage. This is 2016, we are smart and we are intelligent. Stop being lazy and innovate

      • BGM

        Can’t disagree with that sentiment. However, this should NOT come about by government fiat. The question (also for the Sgt) is: if the govt wasn’t forcing the industry, would we have these fuel efficient vehicles now or would we still be driving polluting gas guzzlers? And this is true of every industry.

      • ChrisInIL

        Do you believe that regulation and political decisions are the best way to push engineering and innovation forward?

    • MarketAndChurch

      Our roads and bridges are only underfunded because a portion of the profit they generate gets squandered on mass transit. There is also less roads and bridges because progressives feel that they encourage the suburban sprawl that they often liken to cancer, plus their construction often comes at the expense of the environment, not to mention the expensive and time-consuming process that review after review can take up just to approve a project that does as little as possible to encourage the above mentioned…

      I am all for a gas tax, and they are only realistic now that electric technology not only exists, but whose scale has now made it something most people can afford. The only problem with a gas tax is that most people won’t want to pay just so that it can be wasted by the government on something other then road upkeep.

      • Kyle Newberry

        Or about political connections. In IL we keep repaving with asphalt every year, because of the construction mafia connections to Springfield. How about doing concrete lol, last way longer.

        • Paul Webster

          Concrete roads have numerous disadvantages. They are much louder (noise pollution), and while they last longer structurally than an asphalt road with a similar base the fractured faces of the surface inducing friction course does not. Resurfacing on a regular basis makes for the safest roads. This is just not practical with a concrete surface. With respect to political connections…. anytime the public sector puts out an RFP or an RFQ “politics” enters the arena. Happens with both concrete and asphalt road builders many of whom are the same animal.

      • MultiKdizzle

        There is no profit generated by roads and bridges. Both are huge negatives for government budgets, they don’t come close to generating enough revenue via gas taxes to pay for themselves. Complaining about mass transit spending is poor form.

        • MarketAndChurch

          That’s not true. Unlike airport runways – the most expensive subsidized transportation infrastructure that the government subsidies – and rail, roads actually generate profit from the all the economic activity it stimulates. Roads keep car companies in business and tens of millions of taxpayers employed, they provide the DMV and the police(and other government agencies) with revenue, they give OEM and other industries connected to cars in any way(rental companies, tire companies, catering companies, tech companies, retail and restaurants, etc.) profits, part of which turns into government revenue via taxes, and the taxes that people are enabled to pay via their ability to use our roadways. Airports and rail don’t generate – or enable – anywhere near the trade and commerce to cover the cost of subsidizing them, and so, unlike roads, those are the two forms of infrastructure that don’t return any profit. Mass Transit too… but its bases are always covered a la the highway trustfund funded by the car-driving public.

          Complaining about robbing the revenue our roads generate and shorting road funding in order to fund something that can’t self-fund itself is only poor form if you’re all for throwing other people’s money down a black hole, just because you’re into that sort of thing. Which is okay. If you’re into that sort of thing.

          • smartacus

            mass transit should be funneling money into roads and bridges
            Not the other way around like we have today!

            all those people on the bus and subway got their phones because trucks brought them over roads and bridges.
            Everyone benefits from roads and bridges.
            Not everyone uses mass transit
            Everyone uses roads
            bus companies should be paying MORE into roads and bridges since they are heavier and cause more damage. aaand they spew more pollutants than if all the people on the bus drove in with F450 pickups. it is such a scam, a fake phony scam

        • MarketAndChurch

          There’s nothing wrong with mass transit. There’s a problem, however, with complaining about the lack of road spending, while not acknowledging that 25% of the fund meant to support it is robbed in order to fund a public transportation system that most of society doesn’t use unless you live in Manhattan, and other niceties that may elevate our quality of life, ie: bike paths, vegetated sidewalks or the preservation of breathtaking scenery.

          Again, there’s nothing wrong with these things, but it’s disingenuous to perpetuate a politically self-serving myth just to keep the public on the hook for the lack of road-spending. Like, maybe you can find something else to shame and guilt-trip people about, but the lack of road-spending is an issue of funding mismanagement, and not a societal lack of will.

        • Paul Webster

          Mass transit is a huge black hole for government budgets. Roads and bridges have a huge benefit to the cost of goods and services used by the governed. About 35% of the fuel tax revenues are siphoned off from roads and bridges maintenance for other government projects, the vast majority being spent to subsidize mass transit which only serves a fraction of the governed and which does not facilitate commerce.

          • MarketAndChurch

            Just thought I would add to the record: living in Portland, I rarely use my car. I prefer to walk, use Nike’s bike rental, or take lightrail. I’ve got nothing against mass transit, I get around everywhere on it. But even my love for this lightrail Max and streetcar system we have does not justify the fact that its ridership barely peaks 10% of all travel in the Portland area. In other words, 90% of all travel in the area is done so on something other then mass transit lightrail, and therefore… at the very least… 90% of the revenue that gas taxes generate and the economy that road-travel stimulates SHOULD GO BACK INTO ROAD UPKEEP. But they don’t.

            I think the answer to all of this is just to tax the hell out of Portland, San Francisco, LA, and Seattle, so that the people who use and depend on public transit pay for it directly, rather then blackmailing society for not caring about the earth or for lacking a commitment to taking care of the highway trust fund they rob to have their unsustainable transit systems in the first place.

      • smartacus

        i hear you abut it getting squandered on mass transit

    • Piotrus N

      Why drive up fuel efficiency ? Maybe there are some guy who enjoy driving 5 mpg cars and want to drive it, without ruin home budget ? Or people who love traveling? Why you want to be green nazi ?

  • europeon

    They saw an opportunity, and they’re trying to seize it. Isn’t that how the wonderful democratic/capitalist system works?

    • ChrisInIL

      The United States does not utilize the democratic method of governance, but yes – captialism is about seizing opportunities and making the most of them.

      The primary reason capitalism works is that it is tied to human nature. A desire to create and provide and posess are innate drivers in the human psyche.

  • DeliciousCheddar

    Disgusting. It’s times like these I despise the shameless greed of this industry. We *all* know better than to do what they’re suggesting, especially the manufacturers themselves.

  • kachuks

    The difficulty of meeting future CAFE compounded by low fuel prices for the foreseeable future is something that was discussed before we knew Trump was coming to power. I know because I first learned about it on this blog.

  • Jesse A. C. Majors

    Already on the wrong track. The requirement was a good thing you idiots. Challenge yourself and design cars that get better mileage. Man this sucks.

  • Сафиуллина-Мохамед Рамазанов

    that’s all sucks

  • TheBelltower

    History will repeat itself. It’s foolish for automakers to cozy up to Trump and start asking for this sort of stuff. If US and some foreign automakers can’t figure out how to offer fuel efficient vehicles, then it’ll be an opportunity for another automaker to enter into the picture and eat their lunch. It happened before with Honda. Maybe Tesla and other EV automakers will be next?

  • smartacus

    it’s gonna happen.
    may as well enjoy it.

  • Cobrajet

    Can Trump abolish those outdated headlamp laws too?

  • Status

    Relax the CAFE rules, sell less fuel efficient vehicles, and then the Saudis can REALLY ream you from behind when the price of oil increases.

    • Paul Webster

      An urban myth. We have the technology and resources to be without Saudi Oil (even if Saudi lite is one of the easiest and cleanest to refine on the planet). No matter. It is the European, Koreans and Chinese who are the major customers of Saudi Oil. The REAL game is what currency is used on the world energy markets…. not the source or the end user of the product. Cafe regulations are not what they seem or say they are meant to achieve. It is a form of competition among governments to see who can extort the most revenue from the “system” to support its’ bureaucratic lifestyles.

  • Ron

    Since climate change is a chinese hoax, lets roll them back to the 1950’s and just say F the environment. Let our kids worry about not being able to breath because we will be long gone. Its the new family values.

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