Media Blog

Michigan to Obama: Let’s Talk about 56 MPG

Via The Atlantic:

State leaders say that complying with a 56.2 miles-per-gallon fleet guideline by 2025 is too aggressive and will cost jobs

If the White House has its way, the U.S.’s auto fleet will be forced to comply with a mileage standard of 56.2 miles-per-gallon by 2025. That doubles the current standard in place, which means automakers would have to make significant changes to their vehicle offerings over the next decade to meet the requirement. In a letter to President Obama (.pdf) on Thursday, all but one of Michigan’s members of Congress indicated that they think that this proposed standard is unrealistic and would harm the economy.

To be sure, Michigan has a clear reason to be concerned about fuel standard rules: the state is the heart of the U.S. auto industry. Two senators (both Democrats) and 14 representatives (nine Republicans and five Democrats) say the Obama administration’s 56.2 mile-per-gallon target “overly aggressive and not reasonably feasible.” Michigan’s governor signed a similar letter in June, along with 14 other governors.

This week’s letter points to a recent study conducted by the Center for Automotive Research that indicates a very high mileage standard would harm the state and broader national economy. It concludes that if the fuel standard is raised to 62 miles-per-gallon, which is the high end of the range of proposed, it would cost the industry approximately 260,000 jobs and add $10,000 to the cost of a new vehicle.

The Environmental Protection Agency disputes that additional cost estimate, however, saying that car prices would rise by $3,000. Its analysis does show a vastly different car fleet by 2025 under this potential mileage standard, however. It would consist of 54% conventional hybrids, 8% plug-in electric vehicles, and 37% improved gas and diesel vehicles.

The rest here.

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