Fuel economy standards don't work with cheap gas

The U.S. auto industry got strong backing from Republicans in Congress as it petitions the federal government for an easing of fuel-economy rules that carmakers say they cannot meet with low gasoline prices.

Leaders on the House Energy and Commerce Committee Thursday echoed industry calls for relief on fuel-economy regulations, citing concern that cheap gas will make it less likely that consumers will buy hybrids and electric cars while making pickup trucks and SUVs more attractive. The cost of new technologies could also push sticker prices beyond the means of most consumers, said Representative Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican.

“These provisions, if done wrong, could hurt car owners as well as carmakers,” Upton said. “The good news is that these 2012 standards wisely included a ‘do-over’ provision” to account for new circumstances.

Automakers and President Barack Obama agreed in 2012 to double fuel economy standards from 2012 to 2025, with a projected $200 billion cost to the industry that would be made up in fuel savings to car buyers. Since 2012, fuel prices in America have plunged and consumers have returned to buying less efficient sport utility vehicles and trucks.
Like the ethanol requirement the fuel economy standards were developed because of the perceived scarcity of oil and gas.  With that no longer being the case, they need to be modified or repealed.  They are a form of government mandated market manipulation that hurts consumers.  Big Green might oppose the modifications, but it has never had a realistic interest in Amerian consumers.


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