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As Summer Travel Heats Up, Gas Prices Keep Climbing; Price Of Gas Is Up 31% Over Past Year With Little Immediate Relief In Sight; Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam Prices Still Hovering Around Hefty $3 Per Gallon

Automakers Were On Track To Produce 50 MPG Cars But Admin’s Plan To Roll Back Consumer-Friendly Fuel Economy Standard Means Drivers Will Pay Even More For Gasoline‎ Than They Should Down The Road

Schumer: EPA Plan To Weaken Gas Mileage Standard Will Fuel Even Higher Costs For Consumers

With the Lower Hudson Valley gas prices hovering around their highest levels in just about three and a half  years, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer today sounded the alarm and urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to abandon forthcoming plans to roll back an already-in-place rule that required automakers to nearly double the fuel economy of passenger vehicles, to an average of more than 50 miles per gallon (MPG). Schumer said if the EPA gets its way and the rule is rolled back, consumers will feel the impacts directly on their wallets and at the pump.

“You don’t have to be an economist to understand that scrapping plans to increase the fuel efficiency of our cars will force us all to shell out even more and more money for gas down the road,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “Filling up at the pump is not only a drain on our wallets but also a significant contributor to global warming. So, the rule that the EPA is working to undermine hurts our pockets and our planet. To make matters worse, automakers know that the cars of the future will rely more and more on electric and hybrid power, so scrapping this rule could upend the competitiveness of the American auto industry just as the rest of the world evolves, gets more fuel efficient and smarter about maximizing the resources that keep our cars moving. That is why I am telling the EPA to make a U-turn on this very bad decision and drive forward with original plans to ensure our cars—and wallets—get more miles per gallon.”  

"As summer is upon us, people all over New York, Westchester, and especially in Yonkers are seeing gas prices rise to new heights daily. This EPA decision doesn't discriminate based on age, wealth, or person. Rolling back fuel efficiently standards would have negative ramifications for both the environment and our wallets just as we start planning our vacations. I thank Senator Schumer for advocating on our behalf on this widespread issue that could impact thousands in our City," said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano

The national average price for a gallon of gas has increased by 31 percent  in the past year, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA), and this recently proposed rollback would compound price spikes like this year’s by stopping advancements in efficiency for vehicles of the future, leading to even more trips to the gas station and the shelling out of even more money for fuel costs. According to an analysis by the Rhodium Group, freezing fuel economy standards at 2020 levels would cost drivers an additional $193 to $263 billion dollars cumulatively between now and 2035.

On May 31st, the EPA submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a proposed rollback of rules that required automakers to just about double the fuel economy, or the miles per gallon, of passenger vehicles to an average of more than 50MPG by 2025. The rules aimed at reducing car emissions were enacted during the Obama Administration. According to the University of Michigan Transportation Institute, the average fuel economy of new vehicles sold in the US is currently 25 miles per gallon.

The New York Times reported that the rollback of this EPA rule could spell trouble for automakers because some states, including New York, have special status under the 1970 Clean Air Act. Those states could keep stricter emissions regulations on the books, upending the auto industry by requiring automakers to manufacture cars to meet different sets of fuel efficiency standards across different states. Schumer warned that scenarios like this could have major financial consequences for the auto industry and the millions of people they employ. Reports indicate that the proposed rule may attempt to prevent California and these other states from enforcing the more stringent standards, which would certainly lead to legal challenges; in April, Schumer joined Senator Markey and a number of other Senators in publicly expressing support for the states that have adopted the strongest fuel economy standards in the nation, and opposition to attempts to undermine those standards.

The EPA sent this proposed rollback rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget for initial review. Schumer says that is why he is making the case today to try and prevent the proposed scrapping of the rule from going through. Schumer said the proposed rule could be fully public in a matter of weeks and that once the rule is officially published it will be open for public comments before being finalized.

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), the average price of gas in New York is around $3.07.



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Schumer, today, said the rollback of rules to mandate more fuel efficient vehicles, coupled with higher gas prices being experienced right now, could spell disaster for American consumers down the road. Schumer concluded that the future impacts on consumers could diminish confidence in the economy and drive down consumer spending, especially if the price of gasoline continues to creep.