Obama Responds to Romney's CAFE Criticism
August 30, 2012 5:30 PM
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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.
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.
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.
The Detroit News
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
8/31/2012 12:37:46 PM
If you look at the historical fuel economy of cars you'll see that when the price of fuel rises, the fuel economy rises also.
I'm not so sure that the government regulations are what caused the rise in fuel economy. When gas last rose dramatically in the 1970's, the auto makers responded to customer demand by making fuel efficient cars. The Honda Civic from the late 70's got better fuel economy than the one from today. Of course technology has progressed so they could probably get better gas mileage if they decided to make the new one that small and light, but my point is that when fuel economy became the #1 selling point the manufacturers rose to the occasion and produced cars that got good gas mileage. Once fuel got cheaper they made the cars larger and heavier and they got poorer fuel economy, but only because that's what customers demanded.
Just for kicks let's take a look at a couple of cars that are about the same size and shape.
(I would have liked to compare the same exact car but manufacturers tend to move all their cars upmarket to make more profit on them. As a result they get larger and larger and no longer reside in the same class.)
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