In response to automakers – in particular, the Detroit Three – crying foul over the Obama Administration's proposed CAFE target of 56.2 miles per gallon by 2025, the powers that be will reportedly ease standards for the fuel economy of future trucks and SUVs, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The WSJ reports that as part of an effort to break the stalemate between government regulators and automakers, the White House is considering a proposal that allows for the fuel economy ratings of full-size trucks and SUVs to improve at a lesser pace than required for passenger cars. Word is that small trucks, compact SUVs and crossover vehicles will still be required to meet the 56.2-mpg target, but even that seems open for debate. The report further claims that several proposals are in the works, with one calling for the fuel economy of small trucks and SUVs to advance at a rate of 3.5 percent per year, well below the five percent requirement for cars.

Government regulators hope to finalize a proposal by early next week and issue formalized rules by September.


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  • 54 Comments
      mylexicon
      • 3 Years Ago
      If consumers will just use their brains, we wouldn't need CAFE standards. $300B trade deficit for oil, and since 65% is imported for inefficient light duty passenger vehicles, it can hardly be classified as an input of production. Who would do this to their own children so they can continue driving SUVs? Same can be said of Americans who buy cheap Chinese crap on revolving lines of credit. If people will just pull their heads out of their asses, a lion's share of our economic problems will be behind us. Between $500B and $600B trade deficit for oil and cheap Chinese crap. Fix it yourself. The government is too worried about antagonizing our petrodollar allies and our debt-holders to make a serious difference. Invisible hand. Use it or die.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        • 3 Years Ago
        [blocked]
        You guy
        • 3 Years Ago
        Only because you drive around a gas-***** Silverado.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        bscmth
        • 3 Years Ago
        It has little to do with SUVs... could get with of the full-size SUV tomorrow and nobody would notice. It's pickups that are needed for multiple applications... farming, utilites, construction, fighting forest fires in California. The retail market is all but gone, pickups are being bought by commercial buyers... people that require them. If you need a pickup there really isn't any alternative product.
      brian
      • 3 Years Ago
      Another stupid move. Just when the Automakers were gearing up to sell great, small, fuel efficient cars - now the buying public will be pushed back into buying more bloated Trucks and SUV's.
        rex
        • 3 Years Ago
        @brian
        Yes that is what happens when you try to bend and industry to your likes rather than letting free market and free choice deside the models of the future. Get the gov out all together and no more 'we know what you should drive crowd' please.
          oRenj9
          • 3 Years Ago
          @rex
          The "free market" wants trucks. Full sized pickups have been the best selling passenger vehicles for the past thirty or so years. In my option, trucks -- being so popular -- need to be the hardest hit by fuel economy standards. Making the Corvette get 40MPG isn't going to have any impact on pollution or oil consumption. Making the F150 get 40MPG will have a MASSIVE positive impact on pollution an oil consumption. This is just Obama pandering to the UAW.
          bscmth
          • 3 Years Ago
          @rex
          Thank you Rex! I am so tired of people always trying to impose their agends on others. The environmental agends is just one of thousands. Both liberals and conservatives do it.
          bscmth
          • 3 Years Ago
          @rex
          oRenj9, Yes, why didn't I think of that? A 40 mpg pickup... automakers should just make them. It must be some kind of a conspiracy. If one automaker could make a 40 mpg pickup... don't you think they would? Seriously, they would own the pickup segment. It's just capability and cost that always get in the way.
      lne937s
      • 3 Years Ago
      The thing about this is that we can make a far greater impact on oil consumption at the bottom of the efficiency scale than at the top. Going from a typical 33 mpg (3 gallons per 100 miles) family sedan up to a 50 mpg hybrid (2 gallons per hundred miles) only saves one gallon. Taking a 50 mpg car to a full electric car saves only 2 gallons. Going from a 10 mpg truck (10 gallons per 100 miles) to a 12.5 mpg truck (8 gallons per 100 miles) saves more gas than going from a typical family sedan to a hybrid. Going from a 10 mpg truck to a 20 mpg crossover (5 gallons per 100 miles) saves as much swapping out 5 sedans for hybrids... If the purpose of CAFE is to reduce oil consumption, then it should concentrate most heavily on the least efficient vehicles rather than trying to squeeze efficiency out of more efficient cars.
        rex
        • 3 Years Ago
        @lne937s
        Who drives a 10mpg truck. My full size truck get 19mpg at 75 hwy..21mpg on the sticker. I have not reset the DIC since purchase several yrs ago an it is at 17 mpg all around driving. Not bad compared to my butt beater TSX that gets 25-27 all around and 32 hwy all at the expense of comfort, noise, safety and utility. The point I am trying to make is the free market, not the gov and not greenies, should determine the course of car and truck development. The free market will do a much better job of determining gas comsumption that the gov. Now if one has an agenda, then yes the gov enters the game.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @rex
          [blocked]
          mathiaswegner
          • 3 Years Ago
          @rex
          No, the market is terrible for handling things where the users don't actually face the costs. Pollution and environmental damage is a perfect tragedy of the commons case, and in such a case the market actually encourages people to use up resources faster than they would otherwise.
        Turbocharged_Booger
        • 3 Years Ago
        @lne937s
        Yeah... What I don't like about this is the whole spirit of being lenient on guzzlers. It's like there's a famine, and with limited rations you're asking the anorexic to diet some more while turning a blind eye to the fat kid.
      Jonathan Arena
      • 3 Years Ago
      Obama the republican is at it again...
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jonathan Arena
        [blocked]
          kingrat001
          • 3 Years Ago
          He's actually closer to a Republican of say 40 years ago than just about any current Republican is now.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        We don't need to save oil. Our oil reserves have oil that is old as almost 10 years, and we're still adding to it.
        Evan McMiller
        • 3 Years Ago
        Wow do you pay attention to anything at all or do you just spew stuff...We have enough oil in North America to support us for quite some time.
      SpeedyRacer
      • 3 Years Ago
      This will greatly hurt real fuel economy since it will reduce the price for low fuel economy vehicles (trucks and SUVs) relative to high fuel economy vehicles (cars) which are forced to adopt stricter and more costly regulations. The reason behind this should be obvious to anyone who has followed the political scene. Obama is pandering to the unions, UAW in this case, since they are one of his biggest supporters (ie. fundraisers). A better and more workable solution than CAFE would be to re-index the old gas guzzler tax so it would add significant tariffs to vehicles that achieved lower fuel economy. Won't happen because that is still where Detroit butters its bread and spreads it on Obama's toast..
      MTU 5.0
      • 3 Years Ago
      These comments are great! As if consumers are choosing between a Fiesta/Focus or a Tahoe. And THIS will now push them to the Tahoe. I'm sure there is a lot of cross shopping between a Traverse and a Fit. (sarcasm) Gas prices are not coming back down close to $2/gal again, ever, so the idea (as false as it always has been) that a bunch of couples with one kid will all be driving Suburbans again is just as unlikely.
      lne937s
      • 3 Years Ago
      While CAFE isn't perfect and has some drawbacks it does do a few beneficial things: 1. It provides a level of market certainty. By regulating vehicles to be more efficient, there is less of a sales drop as oil prices rise. Markets are frictional and reactionary-- many businesses fail before they have the ability to adapt to market changes. 2. As the automobile spreads throughout the developing world, the US market will become a relatively small portion of the total global car market. Countries that have stricter standards (virtually every other developed country) can sell their cars under our looser standards, but our cars become irrelevant to their markets. Harmonizing our efficiency standards with other countries means we open more markets to our vehicles. Most full-sized trucks sold here are irrelevant to other markets, but places like Europe have a rapidly growing market for more efficient crossover like the Qashqai. 3. Petroleum is the majority of our trade deficit-- more than every other import combined. The more we can do to limit our oil consumption, the more money stays in this country to contribute to the economy.
      jesse p
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well the us economy is based on how many Americans buy trunks and suvs. What better way to create jobs and at the same time have people just using more credit. Because all know that credit is the same as having cash in your pocket.
      Pete
      • 3 Years Ago
      MPG are determined by the final drive ratio and the transmission gearing. No one can tell me that the manufacturers cannot determine a gearing/drive ratio that would raise the MPG of trucks and SUVs. If you want a truck to tow above 5,000 pounds then you should have to purchase a 3/4 or 1 ton truck. Make the 1/2 ton trucks where they get 25 MPG plus COMBINED city/highway. They have the technology but don't want to let it out.
        Evan McMiller
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Pete
        I can tell you. Ever driven a Corvette? 6th gear is so damn tall its literally like the car has no power at all. This is obviously what allows it to attain great highway mileage, but if you think it's ok to put super-tall gears on everything, you're very mistaken. Simple physics.
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