Perhaps President Bush knew what was coming when he decided to check out the Phoenix SUT and a plug-in Toyota Prius last week. According to the the Detroit News, Congress is meeting to discuss Bush's proposed fuel economy changes. To recap, the changes basically call for "reducing gasoline consumption 20 percent by 2017 and increasing fuel economy an average four percent annually beginning in 2009 for passenger cars and 2011 for light trucks."
General Motors claims that they will spend about $40 billion between 2010 and 2017 to reach those targets. Toyota wouldn't mind spending their estimated $8.4 billion, and Honda would spend some $4 billion to reach the same targets. U.S. Rep. John Dingell, (D-Dearborn) hopes to meet some sort of compromise between what Bush proposed and what the automakers would like. He intends to hold at least eight more hearings regarding fuel economy and the "climate change" that Bush spoke of in his State of the Union speech. The total estimate for all carmakers to meet the goals is about $100 billion. Pocket Change! (I'm just kidding)
On March 4th, auto executives will testify before Congress, followed a week later by former vice-president and current environmentalist Al Gore. Nicole Nason, chief of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
testified today that the four percent goal as outlined by Bush was just based on rough estimates and may be unrealistic.
[Source: Detroit News]