The Irony of Fuel Economy LegislationDavid Welch
To the American car buyer, I say prepare to downsize your vehicles or pay more for them. Late Thursday, the Senate approved a bill that would require auto makers to boost the fuel economy average of the fleet of vehicles they sell to 35 miles per gallon by 2020. Right now, they must meet an average of 21.6 mpg for trucks and 27.5 mpg for passenger cars. The bill still needs to be passed by the House of Representatives and signed by the President to become law. Moving to a one-fleet average generally means auto makers will either have to sell fewer suvs or sell enough small vehicles to offset the sales volume of their gas guzzlers. Lawmakers see this as politically expedient because voters will roil over a gasoline tax.
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