Iowa Leaders are Concerned Over Fuel Efficiency Rollbacks

 The Trump administration wants to roll back tougher fuel-efficiency standards on cars and light trucks. The EPA claims its new proposal to roll back the standards through 2026 means new vehicles would cost about $2,000 dollars less. But other stories have reached opposite conclusions. Iowa City, led by Mayor Jim Throgmorton, is one of 9,000 cities that joined a global coalition to fight climate change at the 2014 United Nations Climate Summit. He says a U.S. rollback won’t stop other countries from building cleaner vehicles.

There’s a 60-day comment period on the EPA’s proposal. The administration also says if cars get fewer miles per gallon – 35 rather than 54 under the tougher standards – people will drive less and that, in turn, would reduce car-crash deaths. But research shows that since the mid-1970s, vehicle miles driven each year have increased and the number of fatal crashes has decreased.

Some automakers, including Ford officials, voiced support for the more stringent, Obama-era clean-car standards. Throgmorton says tailpipe emissions, a major contributor to air pollution and global warming, will now be a bigger factor in climate change and accompanying health problems. 

Iowa state Sen. Rob Hogg, D-Cedar Rapids, has been an advocate for clean, renewable energy. Hogg thinks only oil-producing countries win when people buy gas-guzzling vehicles – and says keeping fuel-efficiency standards higher would benefit family budgets. 

The EPA’s plan would also revoke California’s tougher fuel-efficiency requirements, in place since the early 2000s, that have been adopted by about a dozen other states.