The lawsuit announced today alleges that the Bush administration recently announced light truck fuel economy standards run counter to law. These standards could raise Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for SUVs, pickup trucks, and other light trucks by a paltry 1.8 miles per gallon by 2011 at best, and may actually erode the fuel economy of new vehicles sold in the United States—actually increasing our dependence on oil. This action is clearly much less than is both economically feasible and possible with existing technology— a violation of the law's "maximum feasible" provision. According to the Bush administration's own estimates, these new standards will save less than two weeks worth of oil over the lifetime of these vehicles. The Sierra Club believes that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) — the Bush administration agency responsible for setting fuel economy standards — failed to follow the law by setting fuel economy standards below the technically feasible level. The Sierra Club joins ten states and other environmental groups in challenging the new standards. [...]
"If automakers used existing technology to make our cars average 40mpg, Americans would save over $100 billion dollars a year," said Dan Becker. [...]
By raising CAFE standards to 40 miles per gallon, we'd save 3 million barrels of oil a day. That's more than our daily fix from the Persian Gulf and the comparatively minuscule amount that we'd ever hope to get from drilling in the Arctic Refuge or off our coasts, combined. If we'd raised CAFE standards in 1990, when Congress voted it down, we'd be using a little more than half the gas we are today.
But if you want some serious efficiency, walk or take your bike.
Thanks to Heidi from the Sierra Club for the tip.