The Campaign Spot

Guess We’ll Have to Buy One of Those Government-Manufactured Cars

How steep are the Obama administration’s new Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards? I drive a 2007 Subaru Forester, one of the more fuel-efficient light SUVs*. Under the EPA’s old count it got 23 mpg in the city, 28 on the highway (for a combined score of 25). Under the new formula, it’s only 20 in the city, 25 on the highway (for a combined score of 22).

The word on the new limits is: “The national fleet mileage rule for cars would be roughly 42 miles a gallon in 2016. Light trucks would have to meet a fleet average of slightly more than 26.2 miles a gallon by 2016.”

In other words, in roughly nine years, the Forester will have gone from being one of the more fuel-efficient vehicles in the Subaru fleet, increasing the company’s CAFE standard, to one that is 4 miles per gallon below the requirement, dragging down the average and requiring the company to sell more fuel-efficient ones to balance it out.

* In my price range, at that time.

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