Obama in fuel efficiency driver’s seat

January 7, 2009

President Bush is pulling out of the race to set the next round of car fuel efficiency standards before his term in office ends. That means President-to-be Obama will decide how fast Detroit should be pushed toward a car and light-truck standard of at least 35 mpg. That’s the goal set by Congress for 2020, but the president gets to decide how fast to move in the phased implementation.

With Detroit drooping, Bush thinks a little breathing room is needed. Environmentalists, meanwhile, are eager for quick action by Obama. The Transportation Department has until April to finalize the 2011-2015 target.

(Picture: Reuters)


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This is an issue that needs to be address one way or another and during a crisis when you will have major restructuring is the time to implement these changes. We need to become more energy efficient in the U.S. and start building products that are meant to last and are as neutral to our environment as possible.


Posted by Lauren M | Report as abusive

Stop dragging your feet already. The reason the major auto makers took such a beating was because they weren’t prepared for the shift in consumer demand. When $4/gal hit, it was a wake up call. Had they been pushed at a faster pace to build more fuel efficient vehicles, they would have cleaned up.

Everyone wanted a hybrid. Auto makers are stuck in the stone age… Stop building fuel sucking trucks and deliver what people want. Who wouldn’t want a more fuel efficient vehicle?

Posted by Michael Harvey | Report as abusive

Nice goal for 2020. Does anyone actually believe that our government is interested in cleaning up the environment by regulating fuel standards? A “car and light-truck standard of at least 35 mpg” by 2020. Thats only 11 years down the road for a 7.5 MPG improvement. Sounds serious! How about a 35 MPG standard on airplane engines? A 5000 ACRE PER GALLON standard for lawn mowers? What about standards on military vehicles and semi trucks? Municipal vehicles? Heavy construction vehicles? When fuel standards become enough of a real factor in peoples lives then they’ll look into other alternatives. Oh wait… That’s a free market idea… we must regulate now eerrrr in 2020!! … I think the price of oil could be a weapon of mass destruction in a global economic battle between major powers in the world and any fuel regulation will be to those ends. Perhaps the media would do better asking Bob Gates about where he sees fuel standards on cars and light trucks heading in the future. We might get a better idea of where policy is actually headed if we ask him.

Posted by jason | Report as abusive

Just get it done. 35 mpg by 2012 gives them 3 years and can be done with existing technology (lighter cars, lower hp, efficient diesel and hybrids) and better product line mix – fewer king cabs more sedans. By 2020 the standard should be 50 mpg – like a 1985 Honda CRX-HF.

Posted by Paul | Report as abusive