U.S. Government Delays Final Ruling On 2025 Gas Mileage Standards

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54.5 MPG CAFE standard for 2025

54.5 MPG CAFE standard for 2025

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Yesterday, the U.S. EPA had planned to release final rules on new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations requiring automakers to achieve average fuel economies of 54.5 mpg by 2025. 

But continued opposition and bitter disagreements has lead the current administration to delay the ruling.

“The rule is still undergoing interagency review and we expect that process to be completed soon,” Lynda Tran, a spokeswoman for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told Bloomberg in an email

Originally opposed by automakers, the rules have had a tough time getting this far in the regulatory process.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adminstrator Lisa Jackson and President Barack Obama

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adminstrator Lisa Jackson and President Barack Obama

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Although automakers have now agreed to the regulations, which will come into force with 2017 model year light passenger vehicles, the White House has been accused of playing hardball with automakers in order to push the regulations through.

Worse still, non-U.S. automakers like Toyota and Honda are complaining that the rulings favor U.S. car companies like Chevrolet and Ford. 

While the ruling -- when it finally is given -- will likely double the efficiency of most new cars on the roads of the U.S., neither the White House, nor the EPA or the NHSTA will commit to just when the ruling will be made. 

With the U.S. Election sneaking ever-closer, and Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney vocal about his opposition to future CAFE requirements, this ruling may rumble on for some time to come. 


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Comments (4)
  1. "The best approach is to try and build vehicles that people want, rather than having the government telling the companies what they must make," Romney said to the Detroit News.

    "I would work with the manufacturers to find ways to encourage fuel economy on the part of the consumer. But trying to have the manufacturer push the product on the consumer — that the consumer doesn't want — is not the right approach."

    The logic is good, but I don't really hear a plan for how to accomplish the goal.

  2. John, the lack of a plan IS the plan... I would generally agree, but in this case, there was limited progress for 20+ years, so it was time for more realistic standards. If Americans are too math-challenged to understand that a vehicle that costs $3k-$4k more but saves more in fuel costs, is still improvement, then that's a separate struggle.

    Or are Mr. Romney's lackeys unable to see the major gains shown in sales by the vehicles with better mileage? You can still buy a gas guzzler, of course, it'll just get much better mileage.

  3. I agree. But many American doesn't want to spend the "cash" now to save money in the future.

    Call it shortsighted investment view if you will. It is no different from many shortsighted investment decision with many US corporation. It is almost a "culture" thing. From politics, investment or pharm research, which field is NOT about "instant saving" or "instant result"?

  4. I think the CAFE numbers will "solve itself" if gas is $10/gallon.

    So, by using "market force", we just need to let OPEC tighten supplies and Let Iran shut down the Gulf and we will all be driving EVs soon...

    If the oil crisis can shift our cars into "modern designs", then another oil "crisis" will shift us into EVs...

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