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"One National Program Rule" Press Conference

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Remarks Prepared for Delivery by
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao
"One National Program Rule" Press Conference
Washington, DC
September 19, 2019

Good morning. Thank you all for being here. Administrator Wheeler and I are pleased to announce a major step forward in President Trump’s plan to help ensure that more Americans have access to safer, more affordable and cleaner new cars that meet their families’ needs.  

Two and a half years ago, President Trump spoke with auto workers in Michigan and said that we would review and revise the last administration’s reckless and unattainable fuel economy regulations. Those rules are making cars more expensive and impeding traffic safety because consumers are priced out of newer, safer vehicles.  

Our teams of experts have been jointly conducting a long, thoughtful, and detailed review of these rules, and today’s action is an important down payment on the President’s commitment.

The One National Program rule we are announcing today will ensure that there is one - and only one – set of national fuel economy standards, as Congress intended. No State has the authority to opt out of the Nation’s rules, and no State has the right to impose its policies on everyone else. To do otherwise harms consumers. And damages the U.S. economy.  

It should be noted that this rule only relates to fuel economy. It will not affect California’s ability to re-focus its efforts on fighting the worst air pollution in the country.

In the coming weeks, we will also be publishing the second part of the SAFE Vehicles Rule, which will set new national fuel economy standards.  

While this second part is not yet final, I can say that the updated standards will be reasonable. And, for the sake of American workers, American car buyers and the economy, the rule will not force automakers to spend billions of dollars developing cars that people do not want to drive.  

The new standards will help make new cars more affordable. And will ensure that American consumers still have a variety of choices when selecting vehicles that best suit their families’ needs.  

The new standards will save our nation billions of dollars. They will strengthen our domestic manufacturing base by adding millions of new car sales, and supporting good-paying American jobs. And, most importantly, because newer cars are safer, the standards will save thousands of lives and prevent tens of thousands of serious injuries.  

With today’s One National Program rule, the Administration is standing up for all Americans, their needs, and their choices. We won’t let political agendas in a single state be forced onto the other forty-nine.  

And we will always put safety first. Thank you.