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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.

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A month ago, Darrell Issa (R-CA) sent letters to 15 automotive CEOs asking them for information about the possible safety effects of implementing the proposed new fuel economy standards. Now, he's following up with a new request to California Air Resources Board chairwoman Mary Nichols for documents about how CARB, the Obama administration and the automakers came to the agreement to hit 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. He's been down this road before, and claims that the 4,000 documents CARB sent

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2011 Hyundai Elantra – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Michigan Senator Carl Levin has been called the auto industry's best friend by detractors who say he's worked hard to obtain that title by defending the status quo. At the 2010 Business of Plugging In conference in downtown Detroit today, though, he made some comments that might put a stop to such name-calling. Levin said he wants to end what he sees as the small, incremental approach to cleaner vehicles the U.S. government is using today in favor of a huge and comprehensive program. "Our goal s

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Michigan Senator Carl Levin has been called the auto industry's best friend, and he's worked hard to obtain that title and defend the status quo. At the 2010 Business of Plugging In conference in downtown Detroit today, though, he made some comments that might stop name-calling like this because he said he wants to end what he sees as the small, incremental approach to cleaner vehicles the U.S. government is using today in favor of a huge and comprehensive program. "Our goal should be nothing le

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With strict CAFE standards set at 34.1 miles per gallon by 2016, automakers have a long, tough road ahead of them. If you compare recent fuel economy increases over the past five years, the task that lies ahead is downright daunting.

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Nissan Leaf EV – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2011 Porsche 911 Turbo S – Click above for high-res image gallery

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When the next step in the road to 35 mpg by 2020 CAFE standards was announced recently, those in the know made it clear that the Obama administration's upcoming goal of 27.3 mpg by 2011 would not be hard for automakers to meet. In fact, the 2007 average was already 31.3, so the 2011 goal would not require any change in product lineup (more difficult changes are scheduled to come into effect down the line). The 2011 standards were so light, in fact, that the Center for Biological Diversity took t

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When the next step in the road to 35 mpg by 2020 CAFE standards was announced recently, those in the know made clear that the Obama administration upcoming goal of 27.3 mpg by 2011 would not be hard for automakers to meet. In fact, the 2007 average was already 31.3, so the 2011 goal would not require any change in product lineup (more difficult changes are scheduled to come into effect down the line). The 2011 standards were so light, in fact, that the Center for Biological Diversity took the Na

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