Fuel economy rules would decouple “miles traveled” trend from “gas used” trend (credit: epSos.de)

If federal fuel economy rules aren’t weakened, US drivers could consume 1.2 million fewer barrels of gasoline per day in 2025 than today.

That’s the projection of the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the energy statistics branch of the US Energy Department.
Today, the administration posted some numbers from its “Annual Energy Outlook 2017” report concerning light-duty vehicle fuel efficiency and how it could affect gas consumption out to 2025 and 2040.

The EIA noted that by 2040, more cars than ever will be on the road, and billions of miles will be added to the collective miles traveled in the US by car per year.

But if automakers meet current fuel-economy standards out to 2025, the US light-duty fleet could actually reduce the amount of gasoline that it collectively burns.
But the EIA’s numbers are based on a report completed in January 2017.
Since then, things have changed.

At the beginning of the year, the Obama-era EPA finalized the 2025 fuel-economy rules ahead of schedule, just before the Trump administration took office. Once in charge, Trump and his new EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt bowed to automaker pressure to re-open the review process for those 2025 fuel-economy rules, saying the rules would place an unnecessary cost burden on manufacturers (although third-party research organizations contest this).
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