Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fuel Efficiency Standards Take Shape (Finally)

After years of stalled legislation, federal neglect and successful industry lobbying, it appears there's finally agreement in setting a national fuel efficiency standard. The Obama Administration is modeling the regulations after California's effort, which was introduced in 2002 but stalled by auto industry lawsuits and Congressional debates. Now with the auto industry in bankruptcy protection and receiving billions of dollars from the government, lawmakers see a way toward a national fuel efficiency standard. If everything works out, cars will be running an average of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016. That's more efficient than my Honda Civic Hybrid in the city.

As I've written in the past, most projections show U.S. oil demand within the next 20 years outpacing oil production and current import levels. The most effective way to confront this problem is to reduce demand by either convincing consumers to drive less, or force fuel efficiency standards.

I'm glad the economic implosion has forced the auto industry to do what's right. Hopefully American cars will redefine the market by creating fuel efficient cars that people will love.

1 comment:

  1. I don't agree. The real way to combat demand is to triple the tax on gasoline and use that money to improve public transportation. When I was in Europe, I paid $5.00/gallon. Guess who wasn't driving much? This automatically forces people to buy smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. I wish American cars could compete, but I'm sure they will fail.