Obama promises US automakers will ‘beat’ fuel efficiency standards

by Keith Laing, The Hill Newspaper

President Obama said Monday that U.S. automakers would be able to “meet” and “beat” a requirement that they nearly double the gas mileage of their cars which was implemented by his administration.

Speaking at a campaign event in Columbus, Ohio, Obama touted the new rules requiring automakers to produce cars that achieve 54.5 miles per gallon requirement by 2025.

Republicans have argued the requirement will make cars more expensive to purchase, but Obama said Monday that the U.S. auto industry can handle the challenge.

“We’re going to meet those standards,” Obama said to cheers. “We’re going to beat those standards.”

In an earlier appearance in Cincinnati on Monday, Obama repeated a line that has become standard in his stump speech about how “after 30 years of inaction, we raised fuel-efficiency standards.”

The new rules mean that “by the middle of the next decade, your cars and trucks will … go twice as far on a gallon of gas,” Obama said. “That will save you money. That helps our national security, and it helps our environment.”

The auto industry has generally supported the fuel efficiency requirement, arguing that having a national standard is better than having differing state rules. States such as California had previously implemented their own standards for gas mileage, and others large states have tried to follow suit.

The mileage standard has also been cheered by environmentalists, who have pushed for the measures to reduce pollution from automobiles.

Under the new rules, which were finalized by the Obama administration last month, automakers will have to begin producing cars that achieve higher miles per gallon as early as 2017. The requirement will gradually increase annually until it reaches 54.5 miles per gallon in 2025.

The Obama administration has said the rules will provide an average fuel cost savings of more than $8,000 over the lifetime of a vehicle when they are fully implemented.



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