Auto industry pressing the Obama administration to reevaluate fuel economy standards

Article by Christian Andrei, on July 20, 2011

Before the rules become final, the Obama administration is being pressured by the auto industry to re-assess rules that may result to the U.S. fuel economy standards more than doubling by 2025. Ellen Gleberman, a vice president of trade group Global Automakers, said that the White House agrees that there has to be a review during the transition period.

Her group represents Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co. and 11 other Asian and European automakers. Gleberman has been involved in discussions between the government and industry on the proposal, which establishes new mileage standards beginning in 2017.

Last June, the Obama administration suggested a fuel-economy target of 56.2 miles per gallon by 2025, a marked increase from the current 27.3 mpg. Automakers want to delay the mileage-standard increases, explaining that the technology hasn’t caught up yet and that sales may drop as the prices of the vehicles will go up.

Gleberman said that by conducting a review midway through the 2017-2025 program, regulators would get a chance to re-evaluate assumptions that by that time, the engine technology will reach the required levels.

She said that it can’t be predicted for sure what the market conditions would be in the future. She revealed that talks are continuing with regards to the details of the midpoint review, such as the timing, and if there would be a judicial review.

The parties are also discussing which agency will coordinate the efforts, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Transportation Department, or California’s Air Resources Board.

Topics: barack obama

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