Biden’s Ill-Advised Mileage Mandate
The EPA hiked fuel standards to 55 MPG by 2026, ensuring higher-priced new vehicles are out of reach for more Americans.
In yet another demonstration of how the Biden administration is completely out of touch with the travails of regular Americans, Joe Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency has raised the fuel-efficiency standards for automakers. Passenger cars and light-duty trucks now must reach a fleetwide average of 55 miles per gallon by 2026, a drastic increase from the 43 MPG standard set by the Trump administration. The current standard for 2021 model year is 40 MPG.
The EPA touts that its new rule will save drivers an estimated $210 billion to $420 billion in fuel costs through 2050, and that’s assuming fuel prices don’t continue their upward trajectory thanks to Bidenflation. The EPA claims that even factoring in the higher price of more fuel-efficient vehicles, a driver can still expect to save $1,000 in total costs over the lifetime of the 2026 model vehicles. Will that offset the higher price of the vehicle?
“We are setting robust and rigorous standards that will aggressively reduce the pollution that is harming people and our planet — and save families money at the same time,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan asserted. Never mind the fact that the EPA’s new standards will raise the price of new vehicles, making them unaffordable for more Americans. And it won’t do a darn thing to “save the planet,” as that statement is pure hubris.
Meanwhile, ensuring that the price of gas remains high for the foreseeable future, last week Biden’s EPA proposed changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), colloquially known as the ethanol mandate, to increase the percentage of ethanol blended in gasoline. At issue is the compliance credits smaller refineries can purchase from other companies if they don’t meet ethanol quotas.
“Congress allowed small refiners to petition the EPA for an exemption if the program’s hefty compliance costs threaten their operations,” explains The Wall Street Journal. “Yet the EPA wants to deny exemptions to all 65 small refineries that have sought one. If these refiners shut down, there could be disruptions in the U.S. fuel supply, especially along the East Coast where small refiners are clustered. More fuel would be imported. But the shutdowns would make prices more volatile, as has happened in California.”
The great irony here is that the EPA’s proposal would actually most benefit Big Oil, which has invested heavily in ethanol and biofuels. The little guy, the smaller refinery operations, are the ones getting hurt — all while higher prices are passed on to consumers at the pump. Interestingly, one of the leading factors for the increasing cost at the pump is the increasing price of ethanol.
Ethanol also directly impacts the price of food. Some 40% of the U.S. corn crop goes to ethanol and biofuel production, increasing the price of corn across the board, including feed corn for cattle, which in turn increases the price of beef.
Oh well. At least people tired of paying high prices for gas can just buy electric vehicles…
It is these centralized leftist feel-good “green” policies that do next to nothing to “combat climate change” but do have a significant and negative impact on the economy. The ecofascists don’t care, so long as their agenda for greater top-down control is further realized.
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