Despite the positive public face, the behind-the-scenes discussions that resulted in the 2025 CAFE standards of 54.5 miles per gallon agreement were not easy. There might be more problems going on, since the Obama administration has pushed back implementation of the new rule – which affects model-year 2017 vehicles and later – to a later date. A self-imposed deadline meant the rule was supposed to be issued yesterday.

No new date was given, but Lynda Tran, a spokeswoman for the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, told Bloomberg that, "The rule is still undergoing interagency review and we expect that process to be completed soon."

The administration has said the new efficiency requirements, which should result in real-world EPA figures of around 40 mpg, will save drivers money and have been upheld in court. Still, the rules have attracted the ire of some of the President's opponents. Without further clarification from Washington, we can't be sure what the hold up is. Anyone want to speculate?


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  • 21 Comments
      Ryan
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is the problem. Nobody can plan for anything. Even when laws pass, companies try to fight it and spend $$$ on law firms, conservative institutes/talking heads, and ad campaigns to try and sway the public to get their way. If we set it for 55mpg and let the engineers try their best, even if they get it up to 50mpg it will be much better than the 25mpg we have today.
      PR
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would speculate that the rule making is being held up for the single largest reason that rule making is always held up. The threat of lawsuits. Typically what happens is a regulation is challenged and the judge puts a hold on the rule going into effect until the lawsuit is done. If the lawsuit(s) and inevitable appeals end up lasting a decade or more, then the CAFE rule won't go into effect for a long, long time. So the government is forced to re-negotiate with businesses over how the rules are written long after the law was passed. This is done in order to get agreement that the businesses won't use a lawsuit and years and years worth of delay tactics to effectively block the regulation. This happens all the time.
        PR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PR
        The Wallstreet reform regulations are being held up right now for the same reason. http://articles.boston.com/2012-07-16/nation/32685502_1_dodd-frank-law-volcker-rule-rule-making-process ___________ OMG! Macro and the nut-squad are now going to accuse me of being a Senator, along with working for GM, Toyota, Fisker, Tesla, the Dept. of Energy, the Obama Re-Election Campaign, the Ethanol Industry, and etc....
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PR
        Yes, exactly PR. This is how real corruption works. It is NOT a conspiracy theory like you and I get accused of touting. It is NOT briefcases filled with cash, behind closed doors. It is NOT secret agendas and hidden money trails. It's the worst kind of corruption... skirting the edge of ethics yet perfectly legal. Out in the open, yet obscured by complexity.
          Nick
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          A big part of corruption still happens behind closed doors, involved briefcases filled with cash, and is totally illegal.
      Ford Future
      • 2 Years Ago
      Let's put this in context, 68% of the US is in drought conditions. Global Warming drought conditions. Any backing off of this proposal is insanity. We need to do this, along with electrification of our auto fleet, switch to Solar and Wind, and shut down the dirtiest energy sources: Coal and Tar Sand. Global Warming isn't going to fix itself, not with our current level of technology. Either we advance or we crash.
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        http://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/update/ *for May 2012 27 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity to retire over next five years Wind is also increasing dramatically Solar has had some setbacks We're getting there.
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          The Wind industry dies in the US at the end of the year unless enough Democrats are elected. The Republican house has already abruptly killed all govt support. If they really wanted to reduce subsidies, but still support wind, they could have had a plan to sunset the supports over time. But they don't want that. The specifically wanted to kill the US wind industry.
          Nick
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Joeviocoe It's still a drop in the bucket. We need 1000x more clean energy.
          Ele Truk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          If Mitt gets elected, expect progress to be set back about 10 years.
      stumpy
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm an environmentalist... more green party than democrat but I'm getting the eerie feeling that a Republican victory this fall will mean the end of America as we know it. These CAFE standards will definitely be swept aside like they never mattered. Any subsidies for green tech will be killed (although you can be rest assured Exxon and Shell will still get their tax cuts). A natural landscape in america shouldn't be a Republican or Democratic issue. Keeping our air clean should not be an issue to take sides on. Getting America energy independent in a clean and sustainable way should not be a dividing issue. They should be the values of every single american. Green Tech and Science are going to be what rejuvenates america, creates new jobs in new industries and helps us become energy independent. By having leading scientists, doctors, astronauts, and entrepreneurs be the heros of our day instead of Reality TV Stars, Celebrities, and Socialites I believe we'll see an increased value put on education. Hopefully being a straight A student will no longer be something that the "popular kids" or "jocks" find laughable, rather admirable and desirable. I think america stands a better chance at being the best it can be when we are challenging our youngest citizens to be the smartest and best problem solvers they can be. I'd love to see kids and adults alike dreaming big... about not only trips to and colonization of mars, but beyond. About finding the cure for cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and autism. About creating houses that can run free of the grid. Again this is just all my opinion and people are entitled to feel differently. I just think that legislation like this that pushes the automakers to produce the best cars they can is a good thing – That investment in green tech and sustainable energy technologies is a good thing.
      Nick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hmm...could it be due to interference from corporate-backed Rethuglicans and special interest groups?
      Generic
      • 2 Years Ago
      If old school dragging of feet continue with fuel economy standards, private car makers of EVs will put the gasoline engine down. Consumers have the power. Don't buy a new car if you aren't happy with the fuel economy. Toyota's hybrids are close to these numbers today.
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      These law projects are a nightmare and are just pr or 'politics' if you prefer. It's a waiste of time and money. If they can increase mpg they will do it as it is a strong selling point. It's not the law that will change the law of physics. They should convince the entire industry, petrol infrastructure and car manufacturers to offer natural gas option instead with 2 tanks( even if chris m said it's better just one tank of natural gas and no gasoline tank whatsoever). Natural gas option is 100x less costly then batteries.
        Rob J
        • 2 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        "They should convince the entire industry, petrol infrastructure and car manufacturers to offer a natural gas option" Are you aware of the severe mental retardation of that post? How could you possibly think that it would be ANY easier to convince and industry to change to brand new fuel source as opposed to simply evolving the technology that is right infront of them? 55mpg (which is, if I remember right, 40ish mpg on the EPA scale) is entirely possible with fairly traditional technology. Also, the statment that natural gas is 100 times cheaper than batteries is laughably ridiculous.
          Marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rob J
          @ Rob J 100 times, might be a little exaggerated, but not to the degree of retardation (unpleasant term). There are millions of LPG and CNG vehicles operating around the world. Most of these vehicles cost the same as ICE, or only $1-2000 more. These vehicles are not range challenged and LPG/CNG is usually only 30-40% the price of gasoline. In contrast, batteries average $12,000 and are still range limited. Gorr has a point, economically, for nations with an abundance of NG, NG, is vastly more economic.
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rob J
          He is aware of it. He likes it that way. Most folks who have been here since he was just "gorr" just get a chuckle out of it here and say "good 'ol gorr!" and shake their heads and move on to the next post. *shrug*
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rob J
          "batteries average $12,000" There is not enough real data to support that average. The EVs we have right now are expensive for many different reasons. CNG vehicles are a mature technology. When EVs mature in the next 5 - 10 years... then we'll see the true average premium.
      Rob J
      • 2 Years Ago
      Im definitely more liberal than conservative, but the Obama administration is not doing nearly enough to raise fuel economy standards and promote alternative fuels. But I suppose between the 2 parties, something is better than nothing...
        paulwesterberg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rob J
        I agree. Even when democrats held the majority in the house you could count on midwest manufacturing democrats like John Dingell(MI) to strongly oppose new government fuel efficiency standards. John Dingell served as the chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee for many years where he helped to block new legislation from being voted on in the house. He is one of the longest serving members of congress and helped to write industry friendly loophole filled fuel efficiency standards in the 70's. He has strong ties to GM, Ford & Chrysler including owning over $1M in GM stock.
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