Bush punts to Obama the new fuel efficiency rule

Prior posts have noted the proposed fuel efficiency standard, and have also noted that current technology would likely permit even higher per mile standards because of the as-yet untapped potential of current automotive power systems. As noted, pursuant to the Energy Independence and Security Act (enacted December 2007), automakers were required to improve fuel efficiency 40% by 2020 (which equates to 35 miles per gallon on average); currently, automakers have to achieve 27.5 miles per gallon on cars and 22.2 miles per gallon for light trucks. [For an explanation of how the CAFE standards are calculated, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_Average_Fuel_Economy.] Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that they would not have a final rule issued by January 20, 2009. See http://www.autonews.com/article/20090107/ANA02/901079961/-1. As such, addressing the proposed new CAFE standards will be left for the Obama Administration.