Obama Fuel Economy Standards to Boost Vehicle Prices

By:  Brian Koenig
07/31/2012
       
Obama Fuel Economy Standards to Boost Vehicle Prices

Moving forward with President Obama’s environmental agenda, the White House is expected to authorize new federal auto standards in the coming weeks that will nearly double fuel economy requirements for vehicles by 2025. The regulations require “fleet wide” gas mileage of 54.4 miles per gallon, or the average fuel economy for all cars, vans, trucks and other vehicles.

Moving forward with President Obama’s environmental agenda, the White House is expected to authorize new federal auto standards in the coming weeks that will nearly double fuel economy requirements for vehicles by 2025. The regulations require a “fleet wide” gas mileage, or the average fuel economy for all cars, vans, trucks, and other vehicles, of 54.4 miles per gallon.

“This agreement on fuel standards represents the single most important step we’ve ever taken as a nation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” Obama said in July 2011 when he unveiled the standards. “Using less oil also means our cars will produce fewer emissions. So when your kids are biking around the neighborhood, they’ll be breathing less pollution and fewer toxins.”

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) filed their 2017-2025 fuel-efficiency proposal in July with the Office of Management and Budget, and a final decision is expected sometime in August. While higher fuel economy will save drivers money on gasoline, new vehicles could cost them as much as $3,000 more, according to government estimates. However, as The New American reported in February, that number could be a whole lot more:

“That figure combines the administration’s cost estimate for fuel economy standards from 2012–2025,” [Fox News’ Judson] Berger writes. “The NADA [National Automobile Dealers Association], though, says that estimate doesn’t factor in certain elements like advertising, and pegged the actual increase at more like $5,000.”

A study by the Center for Automotive Research last year indicates that the cost of meeting the new standards is approximately $10,000 extra per new vehicle, an estimate the Center has admitted to be low.

Critics have voiced an array of concerns about the new standards, including one that may hinder buyers from securing loans for new vehicles, which would weigh down on U.S. automakers such as Chrysler and General Motors, which received billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded bailouts to avoid bankruptcy during the recession.

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Photo: new cars for sale via Shutterstock

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