Rolling Back Vehicle Fuel Consumption Standards

Rolling back emissions standards sounds like a wonderful anti-regulation play for those who think all regulations are anti-business, but it doesn’t withstand scrutiny.

Our vehicles are sold all over the world, and emissions standards are steadily increasing in the EU and Asia. The more fuel- and emissions-efficient American vehicles are, the more marketable they are globally, and the more our companies remain technologically competitive in a world that will ever be demanding cleaning running vehicles. By rolling back US standards, US vehicles will be less competitive, not more, just to satisfy a political base who see “rolling coal” as something to admire. Imagine, reductio ad absurdum, we brought back leaded fuel - yes, in the short term it’d make domestic vehicles cheaper, increasing domestic sales, but in the long term these vehicles would be unsellable on the global market, more than offsetting the short-term gains, not to mention the environmental damage they’d do here at home and the long-term loss of competitiveness the makers would face.

Emissions standards create a level playing field - its not like European cars can be dirtier when sold in the US than American cars - so there’s not a competitive loss to tougher standards in the US. It reduces harmful emissions while moving industries forward with clean technology. If we don’t hold ourselves to a tougher standard, we will only fall behind competitively, and we’ll see US-built cars increasingly lose ground in the export market.