Debate Stirs Over Fuel Economy Standards

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 (UPI) — The National Automobile Dealers Association complained new fuel standards proposed by Washington would add $3,000 to the average price of a car.

As part of the so-called We Can’t Wait initiative launched by U.S. President Barack Obama to circumvent a legislative branch hamstrung by partisan bickering, the federal government announced a measure that requires a fuel efficiency equivalent of 54.5 miles per gallon for model year 2017-2025 passenger cars and trucks.

NADA said it supports improvements in fuel economy but expressed concern the new standards would add $3,000 to the average cost of a vehicle and price most American consumers out of the market.

“This policy is contrary to what most consumers are actually buying today, despite the wide availability of more fuel efficient models,” the group added in a statement.

Washington, however, said that in terms of money spent at the pump and decrease in overall energy use, American consumers would save $8,000 per vehicle by 2025.

“We expect this program will not only save consumers money, it will ensure automakers have the regulatory certainty they need to make key decisions that create jobs and invest in the future,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement.

The government said the proposal was open for public comment. Public hearings are planned across the country to vet public opinion.

The United States lags behind the rest of the world in terms of fuel economy.

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