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CEO DATELINE – Auto association seeks to defend fuel economy standards

May 27, 2020
By Walt Williams

An association representing automakers is seeking to intervene in a lawsuit by a conservative group challenging proposed fuel economy standards for vehicles, The Hill newspaper reported.

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The Competitive Enterprise Institute has filed suit to stop plans by the Trump administration to increase fuel efficiency standards in new vehicles by 40 miles per gallon by 2026. The plan is a rollback of Obama administration standards, which would have required vehicles to get 55 mpg by 2025, but the conservative CEI believes the Trump proposal doesn’t go far enough in reducing the earlier standards.

The Alliance for Automotive Innovation announced Friday it would intervene on behalf of the federal government. CEO John Bozzella said in a statement that his members are committed to increasing fuel efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“Despite calls by interest groups for flat standards, our members are committed to increasing standards that support investment in vehicles that improve fuel efficiency, and that balance affordability, safety, and the environment,” Bozella said.

Some automakers have already entered into an agreement with California to adopt tougher standards than what the Trump administration has proposed. Some observers fear the CEI lawsuit will sow division in the auto industry over which standards to adopt, according to The Hill.