Lawmakers gearing up for CAFE standards review

Source: Ariel Wittenberg, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, April 12, 2016

With a corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) program evaluation slated to begin this year, members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have written to U.S. EPA and the Department of Transportation to ensure that drivers will be able to participate in the process.

Last updated in 2012, the CAFE program standards for light-duty vehicles will require cars built in 2025 and beyond to achieve at least 54.5 mpg (E&ENews PM, Oct. 15, 2012). The rule is now up for a midterm evaluation by EPA, along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), along with subcommittee Chairmen Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) and Michael Burgess (R-Texas), wrote a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind to ensure that the public is given ample opportunity to comment on the review before any changes to the rule are made.

“We look forward to a Mid-Term Evaluation process that offers a robust opportunity for public participation, and that includes a comprehensive review of all information relevant to the … standard,” they wrote.

The committee leaders also asked for more information regarding when a draft technical assessment report would be published and how the agencies plan to address any public comments on the report. They note that the midterm review could result in a change to CAFE standards, which could in turn affect drivers nationwide.

“The Mid-Term Evaluation is an important regulatory assessment, and the results may change the course of the program and have significant economic impacts, especially for consumers,” they wrote.