MPG Standards to Cost Highway Trust Fund Billions

Tom Warne Report, 7 September 2012

Land Line Magazine – September 4, 2012

A new report has found that the new fuel economy standards required by the Environmental Protection Agency will cost the Highway Trust Fund billions of dollars in coming years, according to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) estimate in a worst-case scenario published Aug. 29. The association estimates that, with the newest fuel standards issued Aug. 28, past and present requirements by the EPA will leave the Highway Trust Fund short $72 billion by 2025.

The requirements announced Aug. 28 require auto manufacturers to average 54.5 mpg average for cars and light trucks. The ARTBA’s shortfall estimates do not account for fuel economy standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, the report says.

The EPA’s first fuel economy standards in history for heavy trucks were issued in 2011, calling for a 20 percent improvement for model years 2014-2018. Another set of standards is expected to come from the EPA for heavy trucks manufactured beyond 2018.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated last May that the EPA mileage standards would cost the Highway Trust Fund $57 billion by 2040, also not accounting for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The new EPA standards urge vehicles to use less fuel, or no fuel in the case of hybrid and electric vehicles, but do not account for vehicles wear and tear in using the roads.

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