Fuel efficiency. It's an issue that has seemingly fallen onto America's the back-burner for a variety of reasons, not the least of which are declining fuel prices and economy along with the auto industry's financial plight. Still, few would argue that the issue of cutting down on petroleum use is any less important today than it was six months ago, so the decision (or, really, the lack thereof) of the Bush Administration to leave future fuel economy standards on the table for President-Elect Barack Obama and his future staff is ruffling a few feathers.

Even the automakers themselves would like to see a new set of rules decided upon so that they can accurately plan for the future. Without the passing of Bush's bill, questions remain as to whether states - especially California - will have the right to impose their own regulations above the national requirements. Oh, and there's also the issue of where the money to develop these fuel efficient technologies will come from. See the official statement from the US Department of Transportation after the break.

[Source: Detroit Free Press, Photo by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty]

STATEMENT:

STATEMENT FROM THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

The Bush Administration will not finalize its rulemaking on Corporate Fuel Economy Standards. The recent financial difficulties of the automobile industry will require the next administration to conduct a thorough review of matters affecting the industry, including how to effectively implement the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has done significant work that will position the next Transportation Secretary to finalize a rule before the April 1, 2009 deadline.


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