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Blunt Bill Streamlines Fuel Economy Standards to Lower Costs, Boost U.S. Manufacturing

May 25, 2017

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) today introduced the Fuel Economy Harmonization Act to address conflicting regulations in federal fuel economy programs. The bill better aligns the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) program with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions programs, helping move toward a true national program.

“The conflicting fuel economy standards that are currently in place at NHTSA and EPA drive up manufacturing costs, which are ultimately passed on to consumers,” Blunt said. “This bill gets us closer to one national fuel economy standard program that meets the goals of both the NHTSA and EPA programs in a less costly, more efficient way. It is a bipartisan, commonsense step we can take to lower costs and boost U.S. auto manufacturing.”

In an effort to reduce the conflicting regulatory requirements automakers were facing, the Obama administration announced in May 2009 that the various vehicle fuel economy programs would be managed as One National Program. However, the One National Program framework still amounts to separate programs, created under separate statutes, managed by separate regulatory agencies. As a result, compliance with EPA’s more stringent miles per gallon efficiency requirements could still mean penalties under NHTSA because of the different structure of the CAFE program – resulting in fines on auto manufacturers without any environmental benefit to the public. The Fuel Economy Harmonization Act will help deliver on the promise of One National Program, making it easier and less costly for manufacturers to meet the goals of federal fuel economy programs.

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