NHTSA Finalizes Repeal of Trump-Era Rule Blocking State Fuel Economy Standards

On December 21, 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published its Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Preemption rule, which finalizes its repeal of 2019’s “The Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule Part One: One National Program.” That rule had codified the preemption of state and local laws related to fuel economy standards. Specifically, the 2019 rule had targeted California's preemption waiver as applied to the greenhouse gas emissions standards and zero-emission vehicle mandate. NHTSA’s 2021 rule thus reopens pathways for state and local fuel economy laws.