Environmental Groups: Planned Loosening of Fuel Efficiency Standards Could Cost You Money at the Pump

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Environmental Groups: Planned Loosening of Fuel Efficiency Standards Could Cost You Money at the Pump

2012 rule calls for steady improvement to 49 miles per gallon by 2025

(INDIANAPOLIS) - You could be paying 500 bucks more a year on gas -- at least according to groups warning against an Environmental Protection Agency policy change.

An Obama administration rule requires automakers to average steadily higher gas mileage until they hit 49 miles per gallon in 2025. The EPA announced in April it'll suspend that rule, with specifics expected soon. 

Opponents argue a rumored plan to freeze the standard at 2020 levels will cost you 500 dollars a year to fill your tank more often. 

Former Indiana Department of Environmental Management assistant commissioner Janet McCabe worked at EPA when the new standards were put in place in 2012. She argues carmakers supported those standards, and have been on schedule with the needed annual improvements. She says it's given carmakers certainty about what the rules would be. And she says the higher standards reduce carbon emissions and smog-producing pollutants by billions of tons.

The EPA argues the review of how the standards were working so far was rushed to completion 15 months early, before President Obama left office. The agency says carmakers support taking a second look at the targets.

Once the EPA announces its proposed new rule, there's a required public comment period. McCabe says the final decision must be based on the factual record. The NAACP and Indiana Asthma Coalition are urging opposition to relaxing the standards.

(Photo: Mikhail Tereshchenko/TASS via Getty Images)

 

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