Thursday, March 30, 2006

President Bush Raises Vehicle Mileage Standards

The Bush administration issued a new rule on March 29, 2006 to raise the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for light trucks from the current 21.6 miles per gallon to 24.1 mpg by 2011 in annual steps. The increase will apply to 2008-to-2011 vehicles, The "light trucks" category includes minivans and SUVs. The revised rules include about 240,000 SUVs. It could save an estimated 10.7 billion gallons of fuel over the lifetime of those vehicles.

It is the second time the Bush administration has increased the mileage requirements for these vehicles under the CAFE program. The administration previously raised the target from 20.7 mpg -- where it had been frozen by Congress for almost a decade -- to 22.2 mpg for 2207. These are the most far-reaching changes to fuel economy standards in the 27-year history of the program. The U.S. Department of Transportation manages the CAFE program while the Environmental Protection Agency manages milage estimates.. The rule changes do not apply to passenger cars, which are currently requred to meet a standard of 27.5 mpg.

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