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Obama Reveals New Mileage Standards; Garners Broad Support

Industry, consumer, environmentalist groups largely heap praise on 54.5 mpg compromise.

by on Jul.29, 2011

Few expected the fuel economy compromise that was announced by Pres. Obama today - at least not anytime soon.

With many of the nation’s automotive leaders surrounding him at the White House, President Barack Obama revealed details of the unexpected compromise that will set the nation on a course of drastically improved automotive fuel economy over the next decade-and-a-half – something he dubbed “the single most important step we’ve ever taken as a nation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

The new Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard demands that manufacturers deliver a fleet average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, roughly twice the fuel economy of the typical vehicle being sold in the U.S. when the current administration came to power in January 2009.

While some environmentalists had hoped to push the figure to 56.2 or even 62 mpg, the final number is significantly higher than what industry lobbyists had been campaigning for – in fact, barely a week ago, an automotive lobbying group was preparing an advertising campaign designed to thwart the White House push for a new CAFE standard.

Insight!

Instead, as demonstrated  by the presence of top executives — including General Motors’ Dan Akerson, Jim Lentz of Toyota Motor Sales USA, Ford’s Alan Mulally and Hyundai Motor America’s John Krafcik – the industry came onboard with very public support, triggering praise from the president, who declared that while the new 54.5 mpg number is “an aggressive target…the companies here are stepping up to the plate.”

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