Within a few months of taking office in 2017, President Trump and his administration announce they had plans to change fuel efficiency standards. As on August 2018 the EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a new plan called Safer Affordable Fuel Efficient (SAFE) vehicles for fuel efficiency standards; this would affect vehicle years 2021-2026 (McDonald 2019).
In 2012 President Obama establish fuel efficiency standards that would require vehicle to be at 54 mpg by the year 2025. This could have reduce greenhouse gases by 6 billion tons and could possibly save up to $1.7 trillion in fuel costs. Another projection states it could save about 12 billion barrels of oil. The Trump administration has froze the standard at the 2020 37 mpg standard until 2025 (Wharton University of Pennsylvania 2018).
The reason for the change is to make the policy standards more realistic, economy based and societal based. Obama’s fuel efficiency standards has made the average cost for a vehicle $35,000. This standard has also added about $2,300 cost for owning a vehicle. If these standards continue they could create a societal cost in the US economy of $500 billion over the next 50 years. Another notion for the new policy is the fact that newer vehicle are safer than older models. If families cannot afford newer vehicles, the deaths from motor vehicle accidents will be higher. The Trump administration standards could make it possible for families to afford newer vehicle models (EPA 2018). An estimate of 12,700 fewer deaths are expected with the policy change to make newer vehicle more affordable (McDonald 2019).
The long term impacts of this new plan will no doubt put a burden on environmental issues, both human health and the environments health. I do think the new policy will also make it more affordable for families to purchase newer model vehicles. I don’t agree with the policy mostly because the freeze for the 2020 standard is set for the next five years. I would have liked to see the standard at 54 mpg, but there is not a need to keep it the same standard over the next five years. A gradually increase could have been implemented in the policy for a number somewhere between 37 mpg and 54 mpg.
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