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Disparate Groups Unify Under 60 MPG Banner

By Joel Arellano | July 07, 2011
Interest in the revised Corporate Average Fuel Economy regulations, or CAFE, surged earlier this month when news leaked that the Obama Administration may lower the goal of 62 mpg by 2025 to 56.2 mpg. Supporters for a “60 mpg” standard are a diverse lot. Not surprisingly, consumer groups and environmentalists are some of the strongest and most vocal supporters. The Consumer Federation of America released a survey in May that showed 65 percent of Americans surveyed support the new standard, and point to rising fuel prices and concern for the environment as their reasons. The National Wildlife Federation, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, and 16 other environmental groups take a slightly different view. In sent a letter last year to the Obama Administration, they state the 60 mpg figure would improve the economy: “The technology exists to boost fuel efficiency and cut tailpipe pollution for all types of vehicles. Strong standards are needed to unleash this country’s greatest resource – American ingenuity. It will revitalize our economy and keep jobs in America. History has shown that without strong pollution and fuel efficiency standards, U.S. automakers lag behind the competition, costing us jobs, increasing oil dependence, creating more pollution, and limiting technology innovation.” Other groups support the 60 mpg goal to lessen U.S. dependency on foreign oil. Securing America’s Future Energy, a national security group, states in a report that the U.S. would use a third less oil by 2050 by enforcing the CAFE regulations. Finally, members of the EPA as well as past and present Republican governors and Congress members urged support of the original CAFE’s goals in a personal letter to the president. Arguments against the 60 mpg figure involve costs to the automakers as well as the consumer. Automakers would have to start looking into implement fuel-saving technologies from stop/start systems to even narrow tires to wring out every last drop of fuel economy from a vehicle. They say such technologies could easily add up to $6000 to the cost per vehicle. Other groups, like the National Association of Auto Dealers, recently said consumer choice would be severely limited to fuel-efficient models, some of which may be not be affordable. Lawmakers have countered with incentives and exception plans like development of  “leap ahead” technologies. What do you think of the 62 mpg goal by 2025? Do you support it or think it’s ultimately a bad idea for the consumer? Let us know in the comments below. Source: Go60MPG
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