The Edmond Sun

Local News

August 30, 2012

Feds finalize car, truck fuel standards

EDMOND — “Historic” standards projected to increase fuel economy to the equivalent of 54.5 miles per gallon have been finalized, the White House announced Tuesday.

The standards for cars and light-duty trucks, issued Tuesday during the Republican National Convention by the U.S Department of Transportation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, contain a model year 2025 target, according to information released by the White House.

The Obama administration estimates its national program to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions will save U.S. consumers more than $1.7 trillion at the gasoline pump, and reduce domestic oil consumption by 12 billion barrels.

“These fuel standards represent the single most important step we’ve ever taken to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” President Barack Obama said via a news release. “This historic agreement builds on the progress we’ve already made to save families money at the pump and cut our oil consumption.”

Obama said the standards will strengthen the nation’s energy security and help create an economy that will last.

On Aug. 21, in a letter to the Obama administration, members of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and its Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs stated the rulemaking process violated the spirit — and possibly the letter — of the law. The members urged that the rule be returned to the agencies for further consideration of “its adverse consequences to consumers and the economy.”

They alleged that “by initiating public comment only after the secret deliberations had produced an agreement, the Administration effectively predetermined the outcome of the rulemaking.” They stated a committee staff report showed how the administration selectively favored domestic over foreign automakers.

In 2011, federal agencies jointly proposed a rule that would tighten average fuel economy for light-duty vehicles including cars, sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks, minivans and crossover utility vehicles made from 2017-2025.

Last year, 13 major automakers, which together account for more than 90 percent of all vehicles sold in the United States, announced their support for the new standards.

marks@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 108

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