If you want to find examples of ways Americans disagree on politics, all you need to do is turn on any cable news channel right now. But here's a curious case of the majority agreeing on one important point: 62 percent of Americans support an increase in the average fuel economy mandate in the U.S. to 60 miles per gallon by 2025.
That's around the level currently under loose discussion in Washington (which is 62 mpg), and the strong, bi-partisan support is the finding of a survey released today by the Consumer Federation of America, conducted by Opinion Research Corporation under commission. The current CAFE rules, announced in April 2010, require 35 mpg by 2016.
There is one group that's against the 60+ mpg level, though: automakers. As former General Motors vice chair Bob Lutz told us the other day when talking about a CAFE increase that wasn't quite 62 mpg, "Nobody knows how to do a full-line fleet with the equivalent of 42 miles per gallon. That's ain'tgonnahappen.com."
More broadly, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which represents many major automakers, asked the Obama administration to not consider a 62 mpg standard until more studies on this level's impact on the industry are completed. It warned that such a high level might negatively affect safety, sales and jobs.