Nationwide Free Market Coalition to President Trump: Hold Firm on CAFE Reform

WASHINGTON — A coalition of 30 organizations, led by the American Energy Alliance, sent a letter to President Trump today expressing its unified support for his administration’s effort to reform the federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) mandate.

The coalition comprises leading free market think tanks in Washington, such as the Competitive Enterprise Institute, FreedomWorks, and Americans for Tax Reform, along with more than 10 groups based in state capitals across the country. The coalition argues that the Trump administration’s proposed changes to the Obama-era expansion of the fuel economy mandate are both legally appropriate and economically necessary, despite arguments to the contrary from a group of automakers. The Obama-era CAFE expansion allowed regulators in the State of California to hijack our system of federalism at the expense of car buyers from coast to coast. The proposed changes would put car buyers back in the driver’s seat, save them money, and reestablish the states’ and the federal government’s proper roles with respect to the national fuel efficiency mandate.

American Energy Alliance President Tom Pyle issued the following statement:

“American families choose cars, trucks, and SUVs based on our own unique needs. In a free market, automakers would compete to give us the best combination of features, including safety, performance, and, yes, fuel economy, at the lowest price. No one wants an unelected bureaucrat from Sacramento getting the final say on how we get from place to place.”

Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, made the following comment:

“California bureaucrats should not decide what kind of cars and trucks Americans are allowed to drive. That decision rightly belongs to consumers, not regulators. Californians may have to live under the thumb of California politicians and bureaucrats but no one in Iowa or Michigan voted for California’s nanny state rules. 

Allowing the government of California to dictate national standards for the rest of the country has led to higher vehicle prices for consumers while forcing them to subsidize vehicles preferred by California’s regulators. ATR urges President Trump to maintain his stance on reforming the federal fuel mandate and to revoke the special waiver granted to California under the Obama administration.”

Jason Hayes, Director of Environmental Policy for Michigan’s Mackinac Center for Public Policy, issued these remarks:

“Existing law restricts any state from setting a national fuel economy standard. But the previous administration’s extreme CAFE standards have paired with California’s unlawful demands, effectively allowing one state to mandate a national fuel efficiency standard. One state forcing the other states to abide by their regulatory structures ignores the concept of federalism and, in this case, ends up increasing automobile prices for every other American.

American drivers have repeatedly demonstrated that a primary concern when considering a new car purchase is the ability to afford their monthly payments. Michigan residents and our big three auto manufacturers should not be forced to buy and build more expensive cars to meet the whims of California regulators. The proposed CAFE standards represent the best option to ensure free-markets continue to operate, technological advances are implemented, and American consumers can purchase the vehicles they want at prices they can afford.”

The full letter and list of signatories can be read here.

For more information on the President Trump’s CAFE reform, click here.

To view AEA’s latest public opinion research on the topic, click here.

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