Sen. Chuck Schumer called on the Environmental Protection Agency on Sunday not to follow through with plans to rollback mile-per-gallon standards to lessen the pain at the pump for motorists as gas prices hit their highest rates in four years.
“If prices stay as high as they are, this summer the average motorist will pay $200 to $300 more out of their pockets than they would have otherwise,” the New York Democrat said during a news conference at a Mobil gas station in Manhattan where the price is $4.15 a gallon. “Now with the price the way it is, the better mileage the motorist gets, the better everyone does.”
The EPA announced last week that it has submitted plans to weaken an Obama administration rule for automakers to increase their cars’ fuel economy by 50 mpg by 2025.
The car companies lobbied Trump to lower the standard saying millions of American jobs would be at risk if the regulations remained in place.
Nationally, the average price for a regular gallon of gas is $2.95, according to the American Automobile Association, but in New York City it’s $3.20 and $3.11 on Long Island.
The average price has jumped 31 percent in the past year, the organization said.
Schumer blasted EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, a former attorney general in oil-rich Oklahoma, as being in “bed with the oil companies” and appealed to President Trump to intervene.
”They want you to buy as much gas as possible and what he is doing is a disgrace,” Schumer said, referring to big oil. “And I’m calling on President Trump to step in and reverse administrator Pruitt and keep the mileage standards up.”
Schumer noted that some states will make their own rules for fuel standards – creating a problem for automakers if there are varying standards across the country.
”If California, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey — some of the biggest states — say they’re going to keep a high mileage standard, the automakers may have to keep them because they don’t want to have two different rules for cars they sell in different states,” he said.
AAA said besides summer demand, gas prices are rising because of an increase in crude oil prices.
Credit: NY Post