The EPA and the Department of Transportation have been working together for the past year to create a new set of standards for the automotive industry. The goal is to use a lighter regulatory hand and a more consumer-friendly approach to address the burdensome and wildly expensive standards mandated during the Obama administration.

The 2012 CAFÉ (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standard went well beyond a rational approach in the name of the environment.

Americans should have the freedom to decide what kind of car they drive, not bureaucrats in Washington or California. Choosing that car and producing cars that meet those needs does not mean that Americans, or the companies that produce their cars, are not concerned about the environment. We can do both. We can balance social, environmental, and economic impacts.

The proposed new standards, called SAFE (Safe Affordable Fuel Efficient Autos) are a smart and reasonable approach to keeping cars affordable while also ensuring increased fuel efficiency and improved emissions. The CAFÉ standard went beyond boundaries allowed by the Clean Air Act and basically doubled the fuel efficiency standards for American vehicles – mandating new cars have an average fuel efficiency of 54.5 MPG by 2025.

For many citizens, car ownership isn’t a luxury; it’s a lifeline. Creating reasonable and balanced automotive standards will have a positive impact on millions of Americans and thousands of Mississippians who rely on their cars every single day. It’s time we let consumers decide what kind of car to drive, not unelected bureaucrats in Sacramento.

At the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, we support the SAFE standards for four main reasons:

  • We believe automakers should design vehicles to meet the choices of consumers, not to meet the preferences of bureaucrats.
  • We believe no state should get to dictate the kinds of cars another state’s citizens can or should drive. To California, we say, “You sweep your porch and we’ll sweep ours.”
  • We believe the CAFÉ mandates were based on a world of energy scarcity, not the world of energy abundance in which we live today.
  • We believe if left unchanged, the current standards would significantly increase the average cost of a vehicle and provide an unnecessary burden on many Mississippians – even pricing some consumers entirely out of the new car market. This would increase safety risks for some and could also prove to be a drag on the automotive industry – an important part of the Mississippi economy.

For additional reading on the proposed reforms, check out this article:  https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/409512-unreasonable-demands-stifle-real-environmental-progress