U.S. To Set New Fuel Economy Standards

The Biden administration recently announced stricter fuel economy regulations. The new standards run counter to the Trump administration’s rollback of regulations. They are intended to reduce tailpipe emissions and improve gas mileage.

On April 1, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced that “Americans buying a new vehicle will spend less on gas than they would have if we hadn’t taken this step,” according to Reuters. Buttigieg explained that, for 2021 car models, the fuel efficiency standard was 36 miles per gallon and that by 2026 it would be over 48 miles per gallon under the new regulations. The secretary stated that this would save a typical American household “hundreds of dollars.”

Become a Subscriber

Please purchase a subscription to continue reading this article.

Subscribe Now

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated that new regulations would reduce consumer fuel costs by $140 billion for new vehicles sold by 2030 and $470 billion for those sold by 2050, according to Reuters.

The new proposed regulations are similar to those put in place by the Obama administration, which stipulated a 5% annual increase in fuel efficiency per year. The Trump administration rolled this number back to 1.5%.

These new regulations are planned to go into effect for the 2024 model year, as U.S. law requires 18 months lead time. During the last week of March, The Biden administration submitted a budget proposal to Congress requesting $27.5 million to support the next phase of implementing the NHTSA fuel regulations. The administration believes that these regulations will help make progress toward achieving climate agenda goals.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued new guidelines for fuel emissions that mirror the NHTSA proposal. The EPA claims that these new rules will help to avoid 3.1 billion tons of CO2 being emitted through 2050.

The NHTSA stated that automakers whose new car models do not meet fuel efficiency requirements will face a “sharp increase in penalties,” according to Reuters. Tesla is a clear winner under these new regulations, while car companies like Stellantis, parent company of Chrysler, could face hefty penalties if they don’t quickly improve the fuel economy of their vehicles.