The Un-SAFE Rule Update: Weakening Fuel Economy and Emissions Standards Costs Consumers Money in Every State

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This paper expands upon Consumer Reports’ analysis titled “The Un-SAFE Rule: How a Fuel-Economy Rollback Costs Americans Billions in Fuel Savings and Does Not Improve Safety” to estimate consumer impacts for a greater variety of potential rollback scenarios, look
at the consumer impacts of the rollback in individual states, consider the range of outcomes with respect to state authority to set stricter emission standards, and evaluate California’s voluntary framework with four automakers. The Department of Transportation (DOT) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have not yet announced a final decision about which fuel economy and emissions standards will be chosen. We have identified a few plausible scenarios based on public statements and calculated how those decisions would affect consumers. Recent reporting indicates that a likely scenario is one in which annual fuel economy requirements increase at a rate of around 1.5% per year between 2021 and 2026.

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