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Some government officials warn that pushing manufacturers to produce EVs will take away access to cheaper hybrids, diesels. Tesla Model S pictured above.  (Source: Tesla Motors)
All lawmakers in Washington aren't behind Obama's proposed CAFE standards

One of President Obama's many focuses these days seems to be ensuring that the U.S. has less dependence on foreign oil than it has today by time he leaves office. The Obama administration has been working hard with states and automakers to come to agreement on the CAFE regulations that will govern the required fleet wide fuel economy figures in the future.

The final standard that Obama is wanting forces a fleetwide average fuel economy of 54.5 mpg by 2025. That doesn't count heavy-duty trucks though; those types of vehicles have separate fuel economy standards to adhere too. This week, John D. Graham, who headed the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs from 2001-2006, said that the Obama administration is overstating the benefits of the 54.5mpg fleetwide average.

Graham also criticized the plan to give automakers credits for building electric vehicles and failed to take into account the impact of generating the electricity the vehicles use. Graham also claims that Obama is overstating the long-term benefits of the increased fuel economy standards and is forecasting higher fuel prices than what the Energy Information Agency is predicting.

Graham is not alone in making claims that the CAFE standards aren't going to do what the Obama administration is claiming. Rep. Darrell Issa (R, CA), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, went so far as to claim that giving double credits to automakers for EVs is akin to "fudging the numbers." Issa claims that automakers might be forced into building EVs at the expense of clean diesel or hybrid vehicles.

Starting in 2017, automakers will be able to use credits on EVs for less efficient vehicles in their fleet. Rep. Mike Kelly (R, PA) went so far as to say the 54.5mpg requirement would harm consumer choice and put the future of private transportation at risk.

"We're picking and choosing what people are allowed to drive and not drive or purchase," Kelly warned.

Graham echoed that statement, adding, "[One key issue for regulators] is whether the quest for more energy savings will inadvertently hurt consumers by causing vehicle manufacturers to produce cars and trucks that do not satisfy customer preferences for vehicle size, performance and/or safety.”

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RE: not even technically possible yet
By phantom505 on 9/15/2011 1:31:54 PM , Rating: -1
They have 14 years to figure it out. Have some faith and quit running around with your hair on fire. If they can't reach the goal guess what.... we change the regulations again. Duh.

RE: not even technically possible yet
By lagomorpha on 9/16/2011 5:36:26 PM , Rating: 1
The 10% gain from direct injection was a miracle by itself. You can not get enough energy to get 54mpg from a midsized car from gasoline, there is simply not enough stored chemical energy even if we assume a 100% efficient engine.

By Targon on 9/17/2011 6:17:48 AM , Rating: 2
The big problem is that government expects that technology and improvements come on a linear and steady basis, and that just isn't how the universe works. It isn't about how much effort goes into solving a problem, or money, and ALL politicians are clueless, because they have never had to develop a product themselves.

Now, some advancements are the natural culmination of multiple other advancements, and not pushing for technology and more research across the board will only slow things down. I believe that EVENTUALLY we will see that sort of fuel economy, but pushing for those numbers in such a short period of time is the problem.

Here's an idea, suggest that the government cut pay to government workers by 5 percent each year without reducing the number of employees, because you can do that each year, right, and it is in the name of reducing the cost of government. See if that idea works, and then get back to the American people.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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