Photo via Business Week
It was good news for our skies when Obama announced that he'd be setting a groundbreaking new nationwide fuel economy standard. Now, the details have been revealed, and while it's not as strong as some would like, it's undoubtedly a big step forward. In fact, many are saying that this is the US government's biggest single move to cut CO2 emissions ever. The highlight? That the US auto industry will be required to manufacture vehicles that get an average of 35.5 miles per gallon as soon as 2016. The administration notes that while the initial costs are estimated to be higher--an average additional $1,300 in vehicle costs is expected--the savings better fuel economy will provide the consumer will more than make up for it. In fact, more fuel efficient cars are expected to save consumers $3000 in fuel costs--making the fuel standard a good deal any way you cut it.
Here are some more of the details on the plan, via the AP: the standard is
expected to increase vehicle fuel efficiency by about 5 percent annually, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 950 million metric tons and save an average car buyer more than $3,000 in fuel costs. The plan would also conserve 1.8 billion barrels of oil, according to the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly in advance of the White House announcement.Hmm. Cleaner, more competitive cars, money saved, less oil consumed--hard to dispute the benefits of a new fuel economy standard that will hopefully grow more stringent over time.
More on Fuel Economy Standard:
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Obama Sets Disappointing Fuel Economy Standard for 2011