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Romney says the new standards are "extreme," but Obama disagrees

This week was particularly monumental for the auto industry as the Obama administration finalized the new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. The new rules have faced some criticism, but President Barack Obama isn’t backing down.
 
The criticism comes from Obama’s presidential election opponent Mitt Romney, who believes there is a better method of increasing fuel economy than changing CAFE standards.

"Just yesterday, my opponent called my position on fuel efficiency standards extreme," said Obama. "It doesn't seem extreme to me to want to build more fuel efficient cars. Maybe the steam engine is more his speed."

Obama further added that the new CAFE standards will allow U.S. drivers to fill up their gas tanks "half as often." But when the new rules were finalized Tuesday, Romney failed to see the benefit to driving citizens. 

"Governor Romney opposes the extreme standards that President Obama has imposed, which will limit the choices available to American families," said Andrea Saul, Romney spokeswoman. "The president tells voters that his regulations will save them thousands of dollars at the pump, but always forgets to mention that the savings will be wiped out by having to pay thousands of dollars more upfront for unproven technology that they may not even want."


The new fuel efficiency standards for 2017-2025 will cost the auto industry $157.3 billion and add an average of $2,000 extra to the sticker price of new autos.

While some are clearly unhappy with the new standards, others are seeing added benefits. Honda, for example, was delighted to see that the standards provided extra credits for those selling natural gas-powered vehicles. Tesla also jumped on the CAFE bandwagon when it learned that it could sell any credits for surpassing the standards to companies that haven't.

The CAFE standards will raise the average fuel efficiency of cars and light trucks to 54.5 mpg by model year 2025. These new standards, which were created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOTs) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), were based off of the Obama Administration's first standards raised average fuel efficiency to 35.5 mpg by 2016. It was intended for cars and light trucks during model years 2011-2016.

The 54.5 mpg CAFE standard aims to save consumers more than $1.7 trillion at the gas pump, cut U.S. oil consumption by 12 billion barrels, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6 billion metric tons over the course of the program, and encourage the adoption of autos like electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids. 

Source: The Detroit News



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The free market has worked before
By aftlizard on 8/30/2012 10:54:58 PM , Rating: 2
Why not now? In the seventies with stagflation, OPEC boycott, gas shortages etc..the US Big 3 was either to slow to react believing the consumers would never go for a small fuel efficient vehicle or produced ugly vehicles that became the butt of jokes for decades. Enter the Japanese with their small stylish fuel efficient vehicles and the dynamic changed. It's nice to give innovation a push now and then but the reality is the consumer is smart. The consumer will budget their vehicles to their needs and the car companies have historically pushed each other to meet those needs. Increasing government standards only moves up the timeline of when these technologies hit the street, sometimes when they aren't quite ready.




RE: The free market has worked before
By Rukkian on 8/31/2012 10:28:02 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with most of what you said, except for "the consumer is smart". Most people are idiots who don't worry about tomorrow.


By mindless1 on 9/2/2012 5:58:41 PM , Rating: 2
True, people who think about the future don't want to pay several thousand dollars more for unreliable new tech that costs far more to service and repair as well as far more for silly ipod docks and non-ergonomic touchscreens.

Mark my words. Anyone truly interested in fuel economy will plan their trips, their residence proximity to work, and have a lower total cost of ownership buying cars with tech from 10-15 years ago than from the cars we'll see once new CAFE standards take effect. Some will make environmental claims but KEEPING a car and repairing it is more environmentally friendly than replacing and adding to landfills. Cars produce fewer emissions than most industries or even most people's gas powered lawn equipment.


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