Trump's CAFE rollback unpopular with consumers, survey says

Autolist's survey reveals that people want manufacturers to keep making fuel-efficient cars.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
2 min read
President Donald J. Trump
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President Donald J. Trump

With the results of Autolist's survey and statements from auto manufacturers, we're wondering who these rollbacks are meant to please?

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The Trump administration's move to roll back fuel economy requirements has been nothing if not unpopular. Manufacturers are against it, and according to a survey of over 1,300 consumers by Autolist, a majority of Americans polled aren't in favor of it either.

And when I say a majority, I mean that only 29 percent of consumers polled believe that Trump's corporate average fuel economy changes are the right move. Many more of those surveyed -- 41 percent -- felt it was a bad idea, and 30 percent were undecided. So if the public doesn't support it and the vehicle manufacturers don't support it, then who is this rollback for exactly?

Trump's administration has also made recent statements that America doesn't need to worry about conserving oil, thanks to developments in fracking technology and natural gas. This was outlined in a memo released earlier this month intended to support the move towards relaxing fuel economy standards.

One of the other issues caught up in this rollback proposal is California's unique right to set its own, more stringent vehicle emissions standards than those set by the federal government. The "California Waiver" has been in place since the Clean Air Act established the EPA in 1970. Autolist found that while this issue was slightly less contentious, 50 percent of those polled believed that California should be allowed to set its own standards, while 29 percent said it shouldn't have that right and 21 percent were undecided.

A final decision on the move to relax fuel economy standards is expected from Washington this winter, and legal action from a coalition of states that have adopted California's stance on vehicle emissions will likely rage on after that.

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