Obama Administration Delays Gas Mileage Rule

by | Aug 20, 2012

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The new US gas mileage standards for cars, which were supposed to be released Aug. 15, have been delayed.

A spokesperson for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) told Bloomberg that the regulation is still being reviewed and should be completed “soon.”

The final rule will require car makers to raise the average fuel economy of cars and light-duty trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. President Obama announced the emissions requirements, called the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, in July 2011.

Ford, GM, Chrysler, BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar/Land Rover, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota and Volvo — which together account for more than 90 percent of all vehicles sold in the United States — as well as the United Auto Workers and the state of California all signed onto this agreement.

The CAFE standards will cost the auto industry about $157.3 billion, according to the Detroit News. They’ll also save consumers $1.7 trillion in fuel costs, says NHTSA, and by 2025 result in an average fuel savings of over $8,000 per vehicle.

The Obama administration expects the new standards will reduce oil consumption by 2.2 million barrels a day by 2025. NHTSA says that’s as much as half the oil the US imports from OPEC every day.

Despite the nearly universal endorsement of the CAFE standards, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) applauded the delay, reports The Hill, which said Issa has accused the Obama administration of “strong-arming” car companies into agreeing to the emission rule.

Last year, the Obama administration also announced heavy-duty vehicle efficiency rules requiring big rigs to reduce fuel consumption by about 20 percent by model year 2018.

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