Trump budget director accuses automakers ion ‘trying to have their cake and eat it too’

Source: By Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner • Posted: Wednesday, December 18, 2019

TRUMP BUDGET DIRECTOR ACCUSES AUTOMAKERS OF ‘TRYING TO HAVE THEIR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO’: Acting Office of Management and Budget director Russ Vought accused automakers siding with California on fuel-efficiency standards of “trying to have their cake and eat it too.”

Vought said in a Washington Examiner editorial meeting that automakers really want lower fuel efficiency standards, but they also “don’t want to have a fight with California.”

It’s true that leading automakers asked the Trump administration to revisit Obama-era fuel efficiency standards they thought were not achievable, given continued consumer preference for gas-guzzling SUVs. But many have complained the administration is going too far by proposing to freeze fuel efficiency standards, rather than increase them each year.

In July, Ford, Honda, Volkswagen, and BMW struck a deal with California to follow standards weaker than the Obama-era rules but much more stringent than what the Trump administration proposed.

OMB must approve the final standards, which Vought said are expected to be released soon (news reports say the administration could decide to slightly increase standards).

Vought said President Trump is personally involved with finalizing the fuel rules, known as CAFE standards.

“He looks at it in terms of, ‘how much gas are we actually saving?'” Vought said of Trump. “We are not getting that much savings, yet I am forcing a family to travel in basically paper mache on wheels [rather] than a much sturdier vehicle a mom and three kids can be comfortable in.”