Rather than expanding existing fuel economy regulations, the administration should abolish them. Fuel economy standards serve no useful purpose.
Fuel economy is distinct from pollution. Exhaust from cars is a reasonable object of government regulation since it adversely affects everyone. Fuel-inefficient vehicles, however, affect only people who choose to buy them.
The desire to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil—the usual justification for fuel economy standards—is misguided. OPEC and other producers must sell their oil somewhere. If a country like Saudia Arabia tried to use oil as a “weapon,” the U.S. would buy oil from third parties who had purchased it from Saudia Arabia.