By Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory & legal issues, ARTBA

ARTBA outlined the dire impacts to the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) from lower fuel consumption and changing fuel efficiency standards in Oct. 26 comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

At least $201 Billion could evaporate from the HTF over 20 years, starting in 2020, according to ARTBA’s projections. The association reminded the agencies that Congress has not increased the federal motor fuels taxes that supports the HTF since 1993—25 years.

ARTBA made comments in response to a Trump administration request for information about the relationship between the HTF and corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards. ARTBA has previously asked the federal government nine times to acknowledge and attempt to mitigate the adverse effects of CAFE standards on HTF revenues by reducing motor fuel consumption.

On a related note, ARTBA also filed Oct. 24 comments urging the EPA to reform the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) process—a review of six pollutants required every five years by the Clean Air Act. Counties that have trouble meeting the standards can have their federal highway funds withheld.