By on July 26, 2011

Over a month ago now, I was told by several people who should know that the 2025 CAFE standard “number” would fall between 60 MPG and 50 MPG. When I pressed for details, the only answer I got was “at or slightly under 55 MPG.” So when the Obama Administration opened the haggling at 56.2 MPG, I wasn’t sure if he would stand fast by that number or come down a little. Certainly the auto industry and its allies have been portraying the 56.2 MPG proposal in apocalyptic terms, running attack ads against it like this one hosted at the Freep [MP3]. And apparently the opposition paid off, as the WSJ [sub] reports that the Obama Administration has caved, reducing its proposal from 56.2 MPG to 54.5 MPG… and that’s not all. According to the report

The plan calls for a 5% average annual increase in fuel economy for cars and a 3.5% increase for light trucks through 2021. After 2021, both cars and trucks face a 5% annual increase… Included in the plan are credits for hybrid vehicles—including large trucks —and measures that will give big pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles more leeway in meeting the target.

We’ll have to wait to see the proposal in detail before we know for sure what happened here, but it seems that the industry has largely gotten what it asked for. Not only is the overall number decreased, but truck compliance has been slowed and “advanced technology creditloopholes appear to have been expanded. This is fantastic news if you sell a lot of trucks and SUVs, and not so fantastic if you care a lot about dramatically reducing fuel consumption over the next 10 to 15 years. But again, we’ll just have to see what specific proposals are included in the new deal, and how automakers react before we jump to too many conclusions.

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12 Comments on “White House Buckles To Industry Pressure, Reduces 2025 CAFE goal to 54.5 MPG...”


  • avatar
    stuki

    Can you imagine how dense one have to be, in order to spend even a minute’s worth of time and effort, seriously giving a toot about some yahoos’ “goals” for 2025? That’s several administrations, even more congresses, more bankrupt automakers, collapsed entitlement charades and whatever down the road.

    This is all, as in really all, theater. A bunch of back markers devoid of the ability to do anything useful, sitting around pretending that their babble matter. If Clown In Chief, and his peanut gallery, could instead figure out a way to stop running ruinous deficits, perhaps someone will still be in a position to care about trivialities like CAFE numbers 15 years down the road.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      tced2

      Whew! I am sure glad they didn’t lower it to 54.4 mpg – that would have been a disaster.

    • 0 avatar
      rnc

      As opposed to starting two wars, the largest increase in government since the 60′s, the largest increase in entitlements since the 20′s all while decreasing taxes and doubling a in 8 years what had taken the government over 200 years to accumulate. Hey but when it’s a republican deficits don’t matter? (and I don’t prefer either party, vote for whoever makes some sense, which means I don’t vote very often)

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Deficits matter at least as much when they’re Republican. Which is why all sane people(tm) by now ought to realize neither Republicans nor Democrats are capable of governing at a level as large as the Federal. Hence we should, after at least a century of nothing but disappointment after disappointment, simply fire them all. And replace them with nothing, or at least something arbitrarily close to nothing.

  • avatar
    Zombo

    Looks like some animal crawled up on that guy’s head and died !

  • avatar
    forraymond

    WOW! Please produce facts, not just FOX “News” spin, lies, opinion when commenting.

  • avatar
    mcarr

    56.2 down to 54.5 is “caving”???

    • 0 avatar

      We’ll wait to see what the industry response is, but my guess is that they will frame this as the difference between life and death, freedom and slavery, capitalism and communism, etc.

      Oh, and the number means very little… the “cave” here has to do with the delayed truck phase-in, and (more importantly) the credit system. But again, we need to see the actual proposal before we know exactly what we’re looking at…

      • 0 avatar
        Steven02

        Could it be that the truck phase in is something that is required for vehicles that size unless we want them running around with very small engines that can’t move them or tow anything? Besides, from what I am reading it is only a delay. They will have to hit much higher numbers than they are hitting today.

  • avatar
    beefmalone

    Caved? Seriously? 35mpg is caving. 54.5mpg is stroking the consumer right up the butt.


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