July 28, 2011

New Fuel Economy Standards To Be Announced Friday

President Barack Obama will announce new fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks for the model years 2017 through 2025 during an event on Friday.

The Obama administration has been in negotiations with automakers on boosting fuel economy.

The Associated Press reports that recent changes to the standards for light trucks have reduced the proposal to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.  The Obama administration's target for cars and light trucks was originally 56.2 miles per gallon.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday this new round of standards will save consumers money, reduce oil consumption, cut pollution and create jobs.

Automakers agreed to raise fuel economy standards to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016 back in 2009.

The White House said the president will officially announce the new guidelines on Friday.

Reuters reports that some overseas automakers were reluctant to embrace the plan because of the more phased in schedule for light trucks.

Ford spokeswoman Meghan Keck said there are still some issues to be worked out.

"We continue to believe that the talks are productive, that there are a couple of details that we're still ironing out and that we hope to be able say more soon," Keck told Reuters.

Democratic leaders, along with environmental groups, have pushed for fuel economy standards to help decrease U.S. oil use and shrink emissions.

"These new fuel efficiency standards represent the single greatest step our country has taken to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and to encourage a new generation of advanced vehicle technology entrepreneurs," said Representative Edward Markey in a statement.

About 20 percent of the nation's carbon emissions derive from vehicles.


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