New Fuel Economy Rules Applauded by Industry

Joanna Schroeder

Obama 2008A new National Fuel Efficiency Policy was passed today adding to recent efforts to curb America’s dependence on foreign oil while spurring development in new clean transportation technologies that will help curb greenhouse gas emissions. This new policy, which sets the toughest fuel economy requirements in the country’s history, speeds up, by four years, the fuel economy standards that were passed in 2007 (CAFE).

This new policy will go into effect in 2012 and ramp up through 2016 and will require passenger cars and light trucks to get an overall average of 35.5 miles per gallon (it is currently 23.1 mpg) by 2016 while cars are expected to average 39 mpg (currently 27.5) and trucks will be required to get 30 mpg. 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a public statement today saying, “Today’s announcement builds on Congress’ increase of fuel efficiency standards two years ago, speeds us toward meeting the goal of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2020, and establishes the first-ever national standard for global warming pollution from cars and trucks. These efforts will save consumers money at the pump, strengthen our national security by making America more energy independent, and cut global warming pollution that is causing a climate crisis.”

Pelosi is just one of dozens of organizations publishing statements today applauding the new policy. Bob Dinneen, President of the Renewable Fuels Association, stated, “President Obama has rightly recognized that improving vehicle fuel economy is an important tool in reducing America’s reliance on foreign oil.  Together with the increasing use of renewable  fuels like ethanol, these technologies represent the most immediate and effective solution available to help meet our energy and environmental challenges.”

Dinneen went on to state that today’s policy decision does little to effect ethanol’s role in the fuel market place and concluded with, “Raising fuel economy standards, allowing for ethanol blends in excess of 10 percent, and continuing to invest in next generation renewable fuel technologies are the kind of forward-looking policies that will begin to change America’s foreign oil habit. President Obama’s announcement today, together with his recently reaffirmed commitment to biofuels, are appropriate steps in that direction.”

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