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The CAFE rule is the fleet-wide average fuel economy rating manufacturers are required by Washington to achieve. The new rule — issued in response to a 2010 Obama directive, not to specific legislation passed by Congress — would require automakers to achieve a 40.9 mpg CAFE average by 2021 and 54.5 mpg by 2025.
Got that folks … your representatives had nothing to say about or do with this. It was dictated from on high.
In case you’re wondering whatever happened to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it has been supplanted in the CAFE process by the EPA. The proposed regulation was designed, according to the EPA, “to preserve consumer choice — that is, the proposed standards should not affect consumers’ opportunity to purchase the size of vehicle with the performance, utility and safety features that meets their needs.” But the reality is that consumer choice will be the first victim.
And that essentially means that with the switch from the NHTSA to EPA, the auto industry most likely had no place at the table. An agency with an agenda but little experience with the industry came up with the new rules.
Also note the usual pandering to choice. They talk the talk, but reality shows they’re not at all sincere about it:
Getting from the current 35 mpg CAFE standard to 54.5 can be achieved by such expedients as making air conditioning systems work more efficiently. We have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell to anybody who thinks that’s even remotely realistic. There is one primary method of increasing fuel economy — weight reduction. That in turn means automakers will have to use much more exotic materials, including especially the petroleum-processing byproduct known as “plastic.” But using more plastic will make it much more difficult to satisfy current federal safety standards. The bottom-line will be much more expensive vehicles and dramatically fewer kinds of vehicles.
They’ll have to be much smaller and much lighter and they’ll cost an average of $3,200 dollars more (and that’s the lowball estimate). Yup, no intrusion into the market there. They’ve given “choice” lip service – get over it.”