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Concession would make fuel economy standards easier for large trucks  (Source: Dodge)
Concession would reduce the yearly increase rate for new standards for large trucks and SUVs to 3.5% per year

The Obama administration wants to significantly increase the CAFE standards that govern fleet wide fuel economy for automakers. The problem is that there is a huge amount of backlash from those in the automotive industry. The backlash is so far keeping the Obama administration and automakers from coming to an agreement on proposed fuel economy standards moving into the future.

The Obama administration has put a concession forward in an effort to woo the Big 3 automakers to agree to the economy standards. The concession would see the makers of big trucks and SUVs forced to move to the higher fuel economy standards at a much slower rate than makers of cars and light SUVs. Hopes are high that the agreement between the Obama administration and the Big 3 will be made by early next week. 

Washington wants the CAFE requirements to be set at 56 mpg by 2025. The concession would allow the Big 3 to adopt the CAFE standards for the larger, gas guzzling vehicles, at a rate of 3.5% per year rather than the 5% annual improvement rate that the Obama administration wants for light trucks, cars, and light SUVs.

CAFE standards are currently targeting 35.5 mpg fleet wide by 2016 and that number will grow to 56 mpg by 2025 under the proposed regulations. The final rules are hoped to be ready by September.

However, automakers outside the Big 3 are not happy at all about the proposed concession. Carmakers that do not produce large SUVs and trucks see the concessions as giving the Big 3 an unfair advantage. The companies feel that the concession would encourage consumers to buy less efficient vehicles. 



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By Willhouse on 7/18/2011 9:45:36 AM , Rating: 1
The problem is that the desire for profits have caused corporations to do shortsighted and outright amoral things that hurt people. We can look to Enron as exhibit A.

In the current example, the push for profits may have caused the big 3 to reduce innovation in the late 90s and fall behind when gas prices went up. Hence the heavy layoffs, plant closures and bailouts. Again, people are hurt.

Without regulation, the corporations are reactive and not proactive, and often can't react fast enough (example: the bailouts again). So I'm for the setting the mpg standart to 55mgp in 14 years. If we're still running on gasoline, we going to need to start to conserve it at some point, or otherwise, we run the risk of energy shortages in the future and I don't think that would be good for anyone.


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