The EPA will go forward with its strict 2025 fuel economy targets now while Obama is still in office

proposed keeping its 2025 vehicle emissions targets today. The agency has until April 2018 to finalize them, but sources say the regulations are being pushed through now to try and keep them intact. The thinking is that President-elect Donald Trump would undo the work done by President
Barack Obama. Finalizing the regulations soon does not completely safeguard them from Trump’s intervention, but it would make it more difficult.

The EPA is proposing not to make changes to the controversial targets, which will require automakers to nearly double corporate average
fuel economy (CAFE) numbers to 54.5 miles per gallon within the 2022 to 2025 model years. The current target for light-duty cars and
trucks is 34.3 mpg, although that number comes from the
NHTSA and isn’t directly comparable. Yes, it’s confusing, but the takeaway is that it’s a big increase, and automakers aren’t too happy about it.

This determination comes after a technical analysis done as part of a mid-term evaluation of the standards. The EPA states that automakers will be able to meet the new standards, and that they will be able to do so for less cost than originally thought. The agency notes that its findings support further strengthening of the targets, but that they will be left alone for now since automakers are already aiming for them.

We recently asked and tried to answer some of the
questions surrounding Trump’s possible effects on the auto industry. CAFE and fuel economy in
general play into that in many ways. We’re expecting to hear more from the EPA later today.

An earlier version of this story said the targets would be finalized today instead of the determination being proposed.

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