Detroit Grumbles As Obama Hints At “Tough” New Fuel Rules
Can the American auto industry actually win the future? The Administration is considering a proposal that would double the current federal fuel-economy standard and would require cars and light trucks to guzzle gas at an average rate of 56.2 miles per gallon by 2025.
The Big Three auto companies were not thrilled by the news — a G.M. executive said they were “tough goals” on Monday, according to The Wall Street Journal — but it’s still too early to tell how much effort they’ll put into weakening the new standard before it is formally proposed in September. The United Auto Workers union, which normally fights high standards, has made clear that they’ll stay on the sidelines for now.
Last week, Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) chided the administration after they hinted to mid-level officials that his hometown industry would have to face harsher rules. A spokesman for the White House told The Detroit Free Press that nothing was yet set in stone. “We are ramping up engagement with auto companies, members of Congress, labor unions and others as this important proposal is developed,” the spokesman said in a statement.