While talk of increased CAFE requirements usually gets the automakers all riled up, a new report says there might be some good that comes from making the standards much stricter, and we're not just talking beneficial for the environment. This new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists says that higher fuel economy standards could create a quarter million new jobs by 2020. As many as 24,000 of those could be in the automotive sector.

UCS is one of the groups urging the government to raise fuel economy standards by 40-percent within ten years, so painting the change in a favorable light helps them promote their cause. The automakers, for their part, say it will have the opposite effect on their industry. They tend to see more layoffs and plant closings with those kinds of new requirements in place. The UCS report sees more of consumers' money being diverted from fuel bills to consumer goods. Rather than spending so much of our income on fuel, the study assumes we'd be spending our savings on new technology, shopping, home improvements, dining out, entertainment and similar purchases, which could arguably be called an improvement.

[Source: Automotive News, sub. req.]