Back to the Future: CAFE > 40 MPG in 2016
Over at Eschaton there's a nifty little mention of this. The new national one-size-fits-all standards
will combine California’s tough new auto-emissions rules with the existing corporate average fuel economy standard to create a single new national standard, the officials said. As a result, cars and light trucks sold in the United States will be roughly 30 percent cleaner and more fuel-efficient by 2016.and are to be announced maybe as early as tomorrow.
The White House would not divulge details, but environmental advocates and industry officials briefed on the program said that the president would grant California’s longstanding request that its tailpipe emissions standards be imposed nationally. That request was denied by the Bush administration but has been under review by top Obama administration officials since January.
I'm old, guys. I remember when we were talking about 40 mpg in US-made cars the first time, expecting it to be in place in 10 years or so. Jimmy Carter was in the White House and the 55 mph speed limit was new. But I've got one of the cars a US company -- Chrysler, no less -- built in pursuit of that goal. It's a 1986 Lebaron GTS. I routinely got more than 30 mpg with it, and I drove it like I stole it (it was that much fun to drive).
But Mr. Obama is planning to go further, putting in place new fuel economy rules that will combine the standards of California’s emissions law with the corporate average fuel economy program administered by the Department of Transportation. The effect will be a single national mileage rule that matches California’s strictest-in-the-nation standard.
Under the new standard, the national fleet mileage rule for cars would be roughly 42 miles a gallon in 2016. Light trucks would have to meet a fleet average of slightly more than 26.2 miles a gallon by 2016.
“This is a very big deal,” said Daniel Becker of the Safe Climate Campaign, a group that has pushed for tougher mileage and emissions standards with the goal of curbing the heat-trapping gases that have been linked to global warming. “This is the single biggest step the American government has ever taken to cut greenhouse-gas emissions.”
Industry officials spoke on condition of anonymity about the program because they said they did not want to comment publicly in advance of the White House announcement.
For a wonder, the car companies aren't expected to kick too hard on this. Of course, there aren't that many left, and they're only going to have to get 3 more mpg out of trucks than they do now. Trucks are what they build and where they make their money.... so if by 2014 you haven't seen a 30 MPG pickup yet, you can blame that on the GOP too.