White House Clears New Fuel Efficiency Rules
The Obama administration has finalized the landmark 2017-25 fuel economy rules that will nearly double the efficiency of the nation’s cars and trucks over the next 13 years to a fleetwide average of 54.5 miles per gallon.
As reported by the Detroit News, the new rules will reshape what Americans drive — and may prod automakers to add fuel saving technologies at a faster rate. The rules also give automakers credits for building hybrid light trucks and adding fuel saving features that the government didn’t take into account in prior years.
The White House Office of Management and Budget said in a notice posted Tuesday (Aug. 28) morning that it had cleared the fuel economy rules on Monday.
The Obama administration initially planned to finalize the rule by July 31, but the final regulation has been held up by an extensive White House review.
Last summer, the Obama administration won the support of 13 major automakers, including Detroit’s Big Three, for the 2017-25 rules, which will cost the industry $157.3 billion, according to the preliminary proposal.
The price tag may change in the final rule released Tuesday.
Under the deal reached during months of secret talks led by former White House auto czar Ron Bloom, the Obama administration agreed to lower fuel economy increases for light trucks to 3.5% annually through 2021, while keeping the yearly hike for cars at 5%.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also agreed to a midterm review to ensure that the final four years of the program are feasible. California also agreed not to impose its own state standards.
In total, drivers will save $1.7 trillion at the pump, including the 2012-16 mileage increases that were finalized in 2010. That’s far more than the costs of more expensive autos. Society will see net benefits of $252 billion to $358 billion.
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