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Supplemental Comments to NHTSA and EPA on Vehicle Emissions Standards

In October, we submitted comments to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) critiquing the proposed Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule. We now have also submitted supplemental comments rebutting an analysis, prepared by NERA Economic Consulting and Trinity Consultants and submitted by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, in support of the proposed rule.

In our supplemental comments, we explain that the agencies cannot reasonably rely on the NERA/Trinity analysis or similar methodologies to justify the proposed rule because of critical flaws. The NERA/Trinity approach, for example, leaves out a component of the economic value of fuel savings in order to justify the proposed rule’s results. We explain that failing to include the full value of the fuel savings is irrational, because it ignores the money consumers will actually save and the resources that will not have to be consumed when consumers drive more fuel efficient vehicles. The NERA/Trinity methodology for valuing the benefits of fuel savings also departs from the longstanding practice of many agencies under administrations of both political parties, without a reasonable explanation. As a result, relying on the NERA/Trinity approach to justify the proposed rule would be arbitrary and capricious.