New House Legislation is Latest Step in Attack on Successful Fuel Economy Standards

Proposal would weaken standards that are reducing air pollution, saving drivers on fuel costs

WASHINGTON – Representatives Fred Upton (R-MI) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI) today introduced new legislation that would weaken federal fuel economy standards. The bill aligns with provisions outlined in legislation introduced in the Senate that would give automakers concessions that would undermine public health protections and the future competitiveness of American manufacturers.

The following is a statement by Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“This bill is the latest salvo by the automakers in their quest to roll back successful clean car standards. It provides windfalls and concessions that would weaken the standards, making cars less fuel efficient and creating more air pollution in American communities. 

“Representatives Upton and Dingell are enabling U.S. automakers to backpedal on critical technology investments and innovation, putting them behind competitors in the global market.

“Recent polling shows that a majority of Americans want cleaner cars that are more fuel efficient, saving them money at the pump. We urge Congress to reject this bill, which only slows our progress on protecting clean air for Americans.”

NRDC recently commissioned polling in Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, and Tennessee that found a strong majority of residents in those states support standards that require U.S. automobiles to increase from 25 miles per gallon (mpg) today to 40 mpg by 2025.

To read a recent op-ed by Roland Hwang, NRDC’s director of energy and transportation, click here.

To view a blog post about polling results in Michigan and Missouri, click here.

To view a blog post about polling results in Ohio, Indiana, and Tennessee, click here.


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, Montana, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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