27 Jul 2011

54.5 MPG by 2025 for U.S. cars, lights trucks in auto – Obama – California pact

Written by aspowell

The White House has briefed the Washington press corps and word is spreading that a deal has been struck between the Obama administration, the auto industry and state of California on new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for cars and light trucks. By 2025, the fleet average reportedly will be required to reach 54.5 miles per gallon (MPG).

President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency did not get the 62 MPG they aspired to but as in any negotiation, this very good deal for the nation’s air and heavy dependence on foreign oil is hands-down better than what could have been no agreement at all. Yes, the Administration could have pressed ahead with a number of its choosing, but buy-ins reportedly from the American Automobile Alliance and the state of California, according to this report in POLITICO, virtually ensure 54.5 will be the new standard for 2025.

The deal still could fall apart. But even harsh environmental critics such as the Natural Resources Defense Council are not likely to derail it.

According to POLITICO, the industry support appears to be contingent on several flexible compliance approaches built into the agreement and limiting California’s ability to set its own emission standards, a right it has under the Clean Air Act.

“Automakers really wanted to see a single national program, and we believe that the White House understands how much of an economic disruption would occur from multiple standards at the state and federal levels,” said Gloria Bergquist, a spokeswoman at the Alliance for Automobile Manufacturers. “So, we are moving one step closer to a single national program for greenhouse gases and fuel economy for the next 14 years.”

If enacted, the MPG schedule would build on the agreement achieved by Obama for model years 2012-2016 (abbreviated chart below). Supporters predictably are claiming significant cost savings for consumers at the gas pump, dramatically reduced oil consumption, less pollution and more jobs. It’s not clear they mean and can back up whether the latter is a ‘net new’ jobs figure. Perhaps America will find out when Obama formally unveils the deal this Friday in Washington.

U.S. EPA’s 2012-2016 Fleet-Wide Emissions Compliance Levels under the Footprint-Based CO2 Standards and Corresponding Fuel Economy (miles per gallon, or MPG)
Passenger Cars33.834.736.037.739.5
Light Trucks25.726.427.328.529.8
Combined Cars & Trucks30.


1 Comment to 54.5 MPG by 2025 for U.S. cars, lights trucks in auto – Obama – California pact

  1. December 19, 2011 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    From my understanding, it seems like the CAFE standards apply to the entire fleet and not individual cars. Car companies can still sell SUV’s and trucks if they offset them with EV’s and hybrids.

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