Driving Today

Higher Fuel-economy Standards Applauded

Groups get together to cheer regulations that would double fuel-economy requirements by 2025.

A wide variety of groups -- from environmentalists, to consumer advocates, to auto manufacturer associations -- have taken the time to show their support for President Barack Obama’s proposals to increase the fuel mileage that vehicles will achieve from 2017 to 2025. The broad support is unprecedented in an area that has typically pitted car companies against “green” forces.

“Our members have always endorsed a comprehensive and harmonized national approach to reducing GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions while improving fuel-economy standards for cars and light trucks,” says Global Automakers’ President and CEO, Michael J. Stanton. “These standards will be tough to meet, but our members accept the challenge. We are fortunate to have a national plan that includes a midterm review, and we look forward to working alongside the EPA, DOT and CARB on ironing out the details as the proposal moves through the federal regulatory process.”

“Hard, good faith bargaining has produced a program that is very good for consumers and the auto industry,” says Mark Cooper, Consumer Federation of America’s research director. “By sticking to the steady, 5-percent improvement scenario, the program will deliver the biggest bang for the buck in the types of vehicles -- cars -- that consumers are most likely to purchase. At the same time, the program provides incentives to meet the more difficult challenges in transforming the vehicle fleet: getting hybrid engines into pickup trucks and promoting electric vehicles.”

“Today’s announcement is a critical step forward to save consumers money at the gas pump, clean up our air, and cut America’s oil dependence,” says GO60MPG, a joint effort of Environment America, the National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Safe Climate Campaign, the Sierra Club, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. “The Obama administration and California should be applauded for their efforts to secure this agreement that demonstrates that the full range of interests can come together to achieve major benefits for the environment, energy security and the American economy.”

At the same time all this praise was showered on the agreement, seeds of future disagreement were sown. Auto manufacturers look at the midterm review of the regulations as their possible “out clause,” while the GO60MPG group continues to push its “60 miles per gallon and beyond” agenda.



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