Last summer, the Obama administration announced new regulations to require car manufacturers to increase the fuel efficiency of passenger vehicles and light trucks. New research reveals that they’ll price 7 million consumers out of the car market. The Washington Examiner’s Conn Carroll reports:
The Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations that President Obama announced last summer will make it impossible for 7 million lower income consumers to buy a new car according to a National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) study released today.
Obama’s proposed CAFE standards, which will begin taking effect in 2017, raise minimum average vehicle fleet fuel efficiency to 54.5 mpg by 2025. The Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimate that this regulation will raise the average price of passenger cars and light trucks by $3,000.
“The unintended consequences of the proposed fuel economy increases are clear,” NADA Used Car Guide analyst David Wagner said. “If the price of a vehicle goes up by the government estimate of almost $3,000, millions of people will no longer be able to finance a new vehicle.”
Unlike Hilary Rosen’s comments or even the Paul Ryan budget, these regulations aren’t just up for discussion and debate: They’ll take effect in 2017 unless a future administration rolls them back. Electoral politics typically revolve around the “sexiest” of subjects, but it’s important to ground our discussions in actual developments. While “the big ideas” that determine elections are undeniably important, we can’t allow the election to provide cover for the president on “little” policies like this one.
The more the American people realize the actual results of the Obama presidency not just in terms of high unemployment, but also in terms of its day-to-day effects on the lives of even those Americans who haven’t felt the sting of job loss, the more they’ll be unable to be fooled by his rhetoric. Look at it this way: You might not be unemployed and you might not be one of the 7 million consumers who won’t be able to buy a car after 2017, but, if you decide to buy a new car in the future, you’ll still have to pay about $3,000 more for it than you would have if Obama had never been president. It’s one fact among many, but they all add up.