According to a report in Automotive News, the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimate that the Trump proposal would lift U.S. crude oil consumption by 500,000 barrels a day and reduce automakers’ compliance costs by more than $300 billion.
Are automakers really willing to give up $300 billion in exchange for a single regulation that covers the entire country? Automakers never have seriously argued that they can’t meet the 47 mpg target they agreed to during the Obama administration. They are surely aware by now that sales of vehicles with internal combustion engines are flattening and will begin falling in the next few years. The choice is clear for carmakers that stand to lose a lot more than $300 billion if they fail to develop vehicles that people want to buy five or ten years from now.