Putting the Brakes on CAFE Standards will Drive Down Car Costs

Ross Marchand

June 20, 2019

This article was originally published in Townhall on June 18, 2019. 

Buying a new car is almost always a daunting task, with salespeople trying to sell that extra warranty or undercarriage rustproofing. And, to add insult to the process of buying a new car, federal bureaucrats regularly tack on rules that jack up prices for consumers. In fact, average prices for new cars are nearing $40,000.

But, that staggering high amount may soon fall due to the Trump administration’s ambitious drive to roll back onerous rules. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in the process of freezing, or at least slowing, Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for cars, unshackling vehicles to a ticking time bomb of costly rising standards imposed by President Barack Obama. Many members of Congress aren’t happy with these revisions, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee and associated “experts” will be sure to sound the alarm at a June 20 hearing. Congressional convulsions aside, 

Car salespeople have earned their…subpar…reputation by tacking on multiple fees after a price is supposedly agreed upon. Auto shoppers can escape dealing with slick salespeople, but they have no respite from bureaucrats continually raising fuel economy standards each year. In 2012, the Obama administration introduced strict rules requiring a fuel-economy average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 fleetwide. A 2016 Heritage Foundation study found that those rules are as costly as they sound; buyers on average would have to fork over more than $7,000 extra for their vehicle in 2025 than under pre-Obama rules.