The DOT just gave automakers a pass on a long-overdue penalty hike

The Trump administration is letting polluters off the hook by slashing the penalties that automakers must pay for their cars not meeting federal fuel efficiency standards. Instead of using the fines as a means to incentivize the industry to invest in cleaner vehicles and tech innovation, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced it would reduce the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) fines by two-thirds. After being the same for two decades, the fines were raised in 2016 to reflect inflation rates. And even if this rollback doesn’t stick, the administration is looking to gut the fuel economy standards themselves—giving carmakers a nice break that the rest of us pay for with our health, environment, and own gas money. 

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