Will there be one fuel standard to rule them all? Ford CEO Alan Mulally certainly hopes so, and he's letting Washington know. As manufacturers spend time and money pushing to reach established Corporate Average Fuel Economy goals, some states are looking to set their own rules. That could prove to be a tricky – and hugely expensive – proposition for the automakers.

We know we said "some states," but you all know the one we're talking about. California is (once again) considering the idea of setting its own average fuel economy rules starting in 2017, and the federal government is (once again) considering letting them. Currently, California and the federal government agree that fleet-wide fuel efficiency will be required to hit 34.1 miles per gallon starting in 2012, a figure that runs through 2016.

As part of a visit to D.C. this week, Mulally told House members and Bill Daley, White House Chief of Staff (among others), that he wants the government to step up and standardize fuel economy and emissions rules, which would prevent states from breaking out their own guidelines.

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