Four Ways your 4th of July Will Cost More Under the EPA’s Plan to Rollback Fuel Economy Standards
Planning to head out of town this 4th of July? Maybe you’re taking a camping trip, or heading out on a long-awaited trip to the beach, or visiting family. No matter where you’re going, the bill for your 4th of July trip next year may cost you quite a bit more than planned if the Trump administration gets its way and rolls back the nation’s strong fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards. Here’s why:
1. Gas prices are soaring. Currently, gas prices are 59 cents higher than they were at this time last year — that can really add up at the pump. Under the current standards, however, as vehicles become more efficient drivers have to fill up less and save more at the pump when they do.
2. Fuel prices fluctuate a lot, fuel economy standards help soften the blow. Because fuel-efficient vehicles can make it farther on a tank of gas, changes in gas price impact drivers of such vehicles a bit less. And it’s not just cars that have become more fuel efficient under the current strong standards, all sizes and types of cars, trucks, and SUVs are getting better millage. That means that whether you’re celebrating the 4th by road tripping to visit family in your sedan, or hauling a boat with your pickup, you’re going to be better protected from swings in gas prices.
3. When the U.S. leads in innovation, Americans benefit. Under the current standards the U.S. has been innovating like crazy, designing and manufacturing the fuel efficient technology needed to build the next generation of cleaner vehicles. In fact, there are 1,200 factories employing 288,000 Americans right now building the parts and materials that make our vehicles more efficient. The current standards have also spurred investment in the auto industry. Since 2008, U.S. automakers have invested $63.8 billion in U.S. facilities and have promised another $12.4 billion in investment through 2020. That represents a steady, much-needed reinvestment in manufacturing communities across the United States. The GIF below shows that in action.
4. Strong fuel economy standards mean long-term savings. The EPA itself found that a new vehicle meeting the 2025 standards would save its owner an average of $3,400 to $5,000 on gas compared to a vehicle meeting the 2016 standards. Imagine the 4th of July trip you could take with those savings!
With all of the benefits of the current standards it’s shocking and head-scratching that Scott Pruitt and the Environmental Protection Agency want to roll them back. Such a move might make you have to hit the brakes on your 4th of July travel plans in the future.