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28 Jun 2011: Major Fuel Economy Boost
Envisioned by Obama Administration

The Obama administration is considering a new fuel economy standard that would require cars and light trucks to achieve an average of 56.2 miles per gallon by 2025, an ambitious target that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions but drive up the cost of automobiles. While still a starting point in negotiations, the new target — which was proposed during separate meetings between U.S. officials and General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler — gives an early indication of administration goals as it begins to set fuel economy standards for 2017-2025. Last year, the Transportation Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said they would look at a standard between 47 and 62 mpg; today’s fuel economy standard is 25 mpg and will change to 35.5 in 2016. According to a government analysis, achieving the upper end of the 2025 target would require that half of the nation’s new vehicles be gas-electric hybrids and would add $2,100 to $2,600 to the price of a car. Last week, a group of moderate Republicans — including four former EPA administrators — urged the administration to impose tougher emissions standards for cars and light trucks.

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