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Obama fuel rules may tilt field

Posted Tuesday, Sep 8, 2009, 1:02 pm in Employee News

The Obama administration’s long-awaited proposed regulation setting fuel efficiency standards at 35.5 miles per gallon by the 2016 model year will be rolled out as early as this week, The Detroit News reported.

But the rules may give some automakers a competitive advantage, the paper said. The regulation is expected to mirror a California provision that gives less-stringent tailpipe emissions requirements to automakers with annual U.S. sales of no more than 400,000 vehicles, mainly German and Asian manufacturers, the News said. Reducing emissions is best achieved by increasing fuel economy.

Despite grumbling from domestic automakers, the provision was part of a deal reached in the spring and will be part of the final regulation, said Jody Freeman, a top White House climate adviser, in an interview last month, the paper said. In May, President Barack Obama announced the agreement with major automakers and the state of California to harmonize state emissions limits with federal fuel economy requirements and set one national standard. The goal was to quickly and substantially boost fuel efficiency rules over what Congress required as part of a broad energy bill in 2007, the paper said. (The Detroit News)
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