Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The ‘Job-Killing’ Fiction Behind Trump’s Retreat on Fuel Economy Standards - by John Decicco

The Trump administration is expected to roll back the fuel economy standards that were a signature achievement of the Obama administration.  The move won’t save auto industry jobs, but it will increase air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

President Trump with U.S. auto industry executives and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt (second from left) in Ypsilanti, Michigan. (Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst) Click to Enlarge.
When President Trump traveled to Michigan last week to announce that his administration will reevaluate (and almost certainly weaken) a key environmental achievement of the past decade — new fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards for cars and light trucks — he alleged that “industry-killing regulations” had contributed to a loss of jobs in the U.S. automobile sector.

The truth is, however, that there is no factual basis for the claim that stricter standards have killed jobs.  There is, however, abundant evidence that these regulations have saved Americans billions of dollars at the pump, bolstered U.S. energy independence, fostered automotive innovation, and led to major reductions in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

In taking this step, President Trump is following a prompt from the auto industry, whose two major trade associations have been angling to weaken the standards.  Their complaints are among a slew of special pleadings sent to a new White House clearly sympathetic to big-league moneyed interests.  In fact, when the EPA posted a notice on its web site last week announcing that it was reviewing the greenhouse gas emission standards, it prominently placed a link to the Auto Alliance’s request to reconsider the regulations.  I, for one, can’t recall when a public agency prominently featured the opinions of lobbyists for an industry it regulates on an official federal webpage.

The ‘Job-Killing’ Fiction Behind Trump’s Retreat on Fuel Economy Standards

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