Given the dramatic increases in power output in the past two decades while fuel consumption has remained largely static, it would seem to be pretty reasonable to expect power levels to be scaled back somewhat so that fuel economy can increase. Modern engines make more usable power now than they ever have, including the muscle car era of the late sixties. They do that while running cleaner and using less fuel than they did in those days. The Bush proposal would effectively do little or nothing by setting standards based on vehicle size. Raising the standards for smaller cars that already exceed the existing standards while only marginally increasing it for larger vehicles would be meaningless. To have an effect, the low mileage cars need to be improved the most, especially since they are some of the best sellers in the US market.
[Source: Detroit News]