We should welcome new fuel efficiency standards

August 30, 2012 

It’s hard to be critical of the new Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards released Tuesday by the Obama Administration that will require manufacturers to reach 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Lowering our dependence on oil is important for our security, air quality and pocketbooks. It’s hard to be critical because oil companies and distributors use any and every excuse to manipulate fuel prices. Locally, long before Hurricane Isaac became a menace to drilling platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, it was not uncommon for gasoline prices to fluctuate 10 cents (always higher) in a 24-hour period. Isaac was the reason given for a 28-cent per gallon jump at many service stations.

By further developing electric technologies and more fuel efficient vehicles -- getting to the new mileage standards, while difficult, is achievable. General Motors Ford and Chrysler have agreed to the new standard. What isn’t known is how affordable vehicles with new the technology will be. The major trick will be to make a highly fuel efficient vehicle that sells for the same price as today’s gas powered cars and trucks.

-- The Editorial Board

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