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Automakers claim new fuel economy ratings will put hundreds of thousands out of work  (Source: Business Week)
Supporters of increased efficiency standards claim the numbers are inflated

The battle between the auto industry and the federal government over changes to fuel economy regulations is exploding. Lawmakers in Washington want to impose much more efficient standards on future vehicles that could see a fleet wide fuel economy average of 62 mpg in effect by 2025.

Some in the automotive industry argue that the costs to reach the lofty 62 mpg fleet wide average will be much higher than the cost of burning more fuel in less efficient vehicles for consumers. Automakers have previously claimed that the costs would have a dire impact on the industry.

new study by the Center for Automotive Research has been published and the study claims that the rise in efficiency standards by 2025 to 62 mpg could add up to $9,790 to the cost of a new vehicle and will reduce sales by 5.5 million units. The report also claims that the resultant price increase would force a reduction of 260,000 automotive industry jobs due to reduced demand for vehicles by consumers.

On the other side of the battle, those pushing for the increased efficiency standards claim that the tech needed to meet the efficiency standards would only add $770 to $3,500 to the price of a new vehicle.

David Friedman, deputy director of the Union of Concerned Scientists' Clean Vehicles program and supporter of the new efficiency mandate, said, "The Obama administration should ignore this industry-advocate propaganda piece and focus on setting the strongest vehicle efficiency and global warming pollution standards based on credible scientific analysis."

President and CEO of the Union, Jay Baron, says that the main difference in cost between the industry and government studies depends on how much the price of the technology will come down over the next 15 years.

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By The Insolent One on 6/15/2011 5:43:54 PM , Rating: 1
Just as I was contemplating the best way to put this issue into a much larger context, for those selfish "I can buy whatever I want and I pay my fair share" minds... danjw1 steps up and says it perfectly.

This issue is so much bigger than just the price at the pump and how much a week you spend or whether or not you have a right to own a huge SUV.

Nearly every bit of foreign policy that the USA has is based around our consumption of oil. Our country has spent tens of trillions of dollars to either fight or "encourage" other nations to allow us our greedy consumptive ways.

Our nation is breaking under the enormous debt load that has been in large part spent on fighting 2 wars that were started because we have maintained a force in the holy land and throughout the middle east.

Isn't it time that we all realize that even though our cars will cost more, that our country will be better off because we won't need so much foreign oil?

Is this really so hard to understand?

With today's "it's all about me" mentality is it even possible for us to do something that's for the greater good?

By Nutzo on 6/15/2011 6:18:14 PM , Rating: 1
Studies have shown that when people buy cars that get better mileage, they also drive more. (i.e. it becomes cheaper to drive, make a longer commute cheaper, etc.). So the oil savings from better mileage cars will not be that much.

There's also everything else we get from oil, from the case of your ipad to the fertilizer for the veggies you bought last week.

If we REALLY cared about reducing imports of oil, we would be drilling for more of our own, and giving the oil companies incentives for domestic production. Instead we have so many regulations and limits on drilling in the US that it is easier and cheaper for the oil companies to import oil instead of drilling for our own.

Instead we subsidize thing like ethanol that in some cases consume more energy (i.e. mostly oil), than it produces.

If you want plug-in electric cars to become viable, we need CHEAP electricity to offset the higher cost of the car.
Instead (out here in California) they keep pushing expensive green energy that costs several times as nuclear power and other conventional power sources.
The high cost of electricity, as high as $.38/kw today and projected to climb significantly higher over the next few years, eliminates most the saving that could make electric cars cost effective.

By Philippine Mango on 6/15/2011 10:44:21 PM , Rating: 2
Ok.. so first you say that fuel efficiency causes people to drive more because it becomes cheaper to drive (there is truth in that) and then your solution is to just make the existing fuel cheaper by more drilling? People need to stop thinking in the NOW and think about the future when there is no more oil or when oil becomes expensive because this finite resource is now almost depleted.

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