The lobbying groups that are leaning on Senator Carl Levin may not like it, and the Republicans and Big Oil sure the hell won't like it, but it seems that the Obama Administration is about to get really serious about combatting climate change and striving for energy independence.
Last Updated: June 25. 2011 1:00AM
Feds set sights on 56.2 mpg by 2025
Obama administration proposal surprises Big 3
David Shepardson/ Detroit News Washington Bureau
Washington — The Obama administration is considering requiring cars and light trucks to average 56.2 miles per gallon by 2025 — a move that could boost the cost of vehicles by $2,100 or more.
The administration plans to formally propose new standards in September and finalize them by July 2012.
It estimated last fall that hiking fuel efficiency to 56 mpg by 2025 would boost the average vehicle cost by $2,100 to $2,600. But the administration said the rule would save car owners $5,500 to $7,000 over the vehicle's lifetime in fuel costs, and owners would recoup the additional up-front cost within 2.5 to 3.5 years.
The high mileage requirement would dramatically reshape what Americans drive. Currently, passenger vehicles must average 30.2 mpg and light trucks 24.1 mpg in government testing, but vehicles get far less in real-world driving.
This is a win-win proposal, imo, as it does a couple of things that would help both U.S. consumers and the Auto Industry:
#1 - It requires automakers to become more internationally competetive with the technology and quality of their cars, thus enabling more exports, thus creating more jobs.
#2 - It easily saves U.S. consumers money over the lifetime of their vehicle.
#3 - It makes the U.S. less susceptible to the whims of oil speculators, unrest in oil-producing countries, and - last but not least - the looming Peak Oil problem.
#4 - It provides a huge boost to the development of electric and hybrid vehicles.
And best of all, of course, is that Big Oil is going to hate this. Congress can't stop this, as this is done by executive order... no Republican filibusters possible.
Senator Levin does not seem to be too enthusiastic, though:
The three had heard rumors that the administration would back 55 mpg by 2025. Despite questions, the White House aides didn't disclose the 56.2 mpg proposal for 2025. But Levin said automakers had been given a figure at the Wednesday meetings.
"There was a scenario that was placed on the table which frankly shocked me and was very different from what we were told was not in the cards — even in terms of discussions — just hours before," Levin said.
In a statement Friday, Levin said he was surprised "to learn that the administration had decided to lay down a scenario for regulation of vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions after telling us just the day before that no 'decision' had been made relative to those issues."
He questioned the administration's forthrightness.
It's sad to see that Senator Levin would be shortsighted here and not realize that this proposal would be good for both U.S. Consumers and U.S. auto manufacturers.
If you're as excited about this as I am, please call or email Senator Levin and let him know that you support this, and that it would be good both for auto manufacturers and consumers, as well as the environment.
Patrick V. McNamara Federal Building
477 Michigan Avenue, Suite 1860
Detroit, MI 48226-2576
Phone (313) 226-6020
Fax (313) 226-6948
TTY (800) 851-0030