New mpg standards proposed

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Apr 22, 2008


Renita Jablonski: Later today, the federal government plans to release proposed new fuel efficiency standards for new cars and trucks. It’ll be the first change to the vehicle mileage rules in three decades. Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall Genzer reports.

Nancy Marshall Genzer: Today’s proposed rules will set fuel economy standards from 2011 to 2015. They’ll require passenger cars to average 35.7 miles per gallon. The Transportation Department won’t comment on the plan. Environmentalists say it’s a good first step. Jim Kliesch is with the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Jim Kliesch: It looks like this is going to be the biggest increase in fuel economy since we’ve seen since 1985. But of course the devil’s in the details.

The auto industry is also still assessing the details. But they’re not criticizing the new standards. That’s partly because they’re facing pressure from California for even stricter standards, and partly because fuel efficiency is becoming more popular as gas prices rise. Mike Stanton heads the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers.

Mike Stanton: We’re going to see more hybrid vehicles. Obviously there’s going to be tremendous improvement to the internal combustion engine as well.

The new rules are expected to be finalized before the end of the Bush administration.

In Washington, I’m Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.

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