New Federal Fuel Economy Rules Challenge Mathaletes, True Believers
Surprise! The day after the president told the world that his administration is ignoring public opinion and re-bailing out Chrysler and GM, the Chief Executive’s minions have revealed their new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) targets. First, the dig [via the AP]: “Under the changes, which are slightly less stringent than those proposed by the Bush administration [emphasis added], new passenger cars will need to meet 30.2 mpg for the 2011 model year and pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles, and minivans will need to reach 24.1 mpg.” Why the roll-back? David Kelly, acting director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said Obama’s decision to adopt the old Bush figures “showed the agency had done a good job after two years of work. For as much as people wanted to criticize NHTSA, this is clearly the best step that is out there that is the best step to improve fuel economy and do so in a reasonable way that doesn’t force manufacturers into bankruptcy.” Right. Sorry, I forgot: can’t bankrupt Chrysler and GM. ’K. Math. Fallout. Jump.
As for the future, today’s move doesn’t obviate California’s attempt to usurp (and raise) federal standards. “The Obama administration is expected to decide by May whether to give California and 13 other states permission from the Environmental Protection Agency to impose a 30 percent reduction in tailpipe emissions by 2016,” The Detroit News reports. “The regulation would have the effect of a fleetwide fuel economy of 34.5 mpg by 2015.”
Environmentalists have pronounced themselves satisfied [via the AP]. “Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign, a project of the Center for Auto Safety, said the 2011 standard would require the administration ‘to make up for it in the following years. The good news is that they’re promising that they will.'”
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