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Heartland Institute Experts React to Trump's Plan to Modify CAFE Standards


March 16, 2017 ( Newswire) President Donald Trump announced today in Michigan he is directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review the Obama-era fuel-efficiency mandate for automobile fleets. The Obama administration in its final week finalized a new rule to require automakers to double their average fleet-wide fuel efficiency to more than 50 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2025. The Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard for 2017 models of cars and trucks is 35 mpg.

Obama's rule was not scheduled to be finalized until 2018, which gives Trump an opening to rescind it.

The following statements from energy and environment experts at The Heartland Institute - a free-market think tank - may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.

"The review and subsequent pullback from EPA's CAFE standards is a big win for automakers and workers. It's also a big win for consumers who will be able to choose the vehicles they want to drive. Finally, it is a win for oil producers and mineral owners, because when consumers are free to choose the vehicles of their choice, domestic oil demand will increase.

"So much winning, I think I'll take my truck for a spin to celebrate."

Bette Grande
Research Fellow, Energy Policy
The Heartland Institute

Ms. Grande represented the 41st District in the North Dakota Legislature from 1996 to 2014.

"President Trump is right to review - and rescind - the fuel economy standard designed by the Obama administration as part of its war on fossil fuels in pursuit of its inane goal of controlling the climate. Car makers were clear about being unable to meet the Obama administration's expedited goals for higher fuel-economy standards and still provide the safe, reliable, powerful, and comfortable cars and trucks most consumers desire.

"By repealing the expedited, increased standards, Trump is working to ensure freedom of choice - and promoting public health, since the downsizing of cars to meet CAFE standards results in thousands of unnecessary deaths each year."

H. Sterling Burnett
Research Fellow, Environment & Energy Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, Environment & Climate News

"This first step toward rolling back Obama's CAFE standards mandate is great news. The idea that consumers can be made better off by restricting their freedom to choose - the presumption that lies at the bottom of all proposals to raise CAFE standards - is false. Moreover, it is dangerous. The National Academy of Sciences found existing fuel economy mandates caused between 1,300 and 2,600 deaths annually between 1978 and 2002.

"Consumers are better positioned than regulators to choose the size, fuel economy, and other features of the cars and trucks they buy. Besides, car and light truck emissions in the United States account for only 1.5 percent of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, so their environmental impact is negligible. Allowing consumers to choose and manufacturers to compete is a much more effective and efficient way to advance the public good."

Tim Benson
Policy Analyst
The Heartland Institute

"When people think of the American Dream, we think of owning a house with a white picket fence, a happy family, and the family car. Repealing the CAFE standards is an important step in making this dream a reality.

"President Obama's time in office was marked by stagnant wages and low levels of workforce participation, making it more difficult for low- and middle-income families to afford a newer vehicle. These difficulties were compounded by the previous administration's CAFE standards, which have added an estimated $3,800 to the price of vehicles. Advocates of these standards claim they save consumers money by lowering fuel expenses, but it's not possible to save money on fuel if you can't afford to buy the car.

"Examining these rules for possible repeal is a smart move by President Trump. Repealing the rules will make the American Dream more attainable for countless Americans."

Isaac Orr
Research Fellow, Energy and Environment Policy
The Heartland Institute

"The CAFE standards, in effect, let EPA tell automobile makers how to design and build cars. Safety and price be damned.

"Lowering the CAFE standards allows safer cars because of needless shedding of weight. In addition, it allows less expensive cars, which means more sales locally and internationally. More jobs are then created in auto manufacturing, and consumers have more money to spend on other items of need.

"This 54th day since President Trump's inauguration has seen numerous executive orders to energize the nation's economy and make us the strongest nation on the planet. The rise in the stock market is testimony to these actions."

James H. Rust
Professor of nuclear engineering (Ret.), Georgia Tech
Policy Advisor
The Heartland Institute

"One of the more insidious things that the Obama administration did was to statutorily kill the American SUV as we know it with draconian CAFE standards. Iconic SUVs have been abandoning steel in favor of lighter weight aluminum, and this means cars will be lighter and may be less safe.

"The Trump administration is about to restore sanity in our transportation sector by taking on the CAFE standards. Current CAFE standards belong in the dust bin of history."

Marc Morano
Climate Depot

"That's disappointing. I was looking forward to tuk tuks becoming the standard automobile. That idea was almost as dumb as the one about powering the nation by catching sunbeams and summer breezes. At least the review shouldn't need more than about 10 minutes to find it was not really practical - even though the 54.5 mpg figure did appear impressively precise and well considered."

Walter Starck
Policy Advisor, Environment
The Heartland Institute

The Heartland Institute is a 33-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000. investing ideas in oil and gas stocks

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