House kicks off review of Obama's 54.5 mpg CAFE rule this week

Today, a House of Representatives panel will hold a hearing to review the Obama Administration's ambitious fuel economy standards of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

The hearing – a response by Republicans concerned over the economic impact of the fuel efficiency guidelines – is titled: "Running on Empty: How the Obama Administration's Green Energy Gamble Will Impact Small Businesses and Consumers."

The House panel, chaired by Jim Jordan,(R-OH), "will examine fuel economy standards for light- and heavy-duty vehicles and the Obama Administration's recent agreement to raise fuel economy standards for Model Years 2017-2025," according to the committee.

Loads of top officials will be required to testify, including David Strickland from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Margo Oge and Gina McCarthy of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Others called to testify include Marlo Lewis of Competitive Enterprise Institute, Scott Grenerth, an independent trucker and Roland Hwang, transportation program director at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) declined an invite to appear before the House panel. Also, quite oddly, officials from automakers were never asked to testify at the hearing.

The Obama Administration aims to issue final CAFE guidelines by July of 2012, but recent delays, as well as the impact of this hearing, could force the Administration to postpone the release date.

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