With a brief, three-sentence statement, the Bush Administration has done what we've been expecting for quite some time: pawn off future CAFE decisions to the next administration. So, Obama and his future team will now be in charge of deciding exactly how to proceed with tough new regulations that will have an extremely important impact on the cars that we'll be driving in a few years.
A few questions will need to be tackled before any regulations are handed down, such as whether or not individual states like California have the right to add additional rules to those adopted by the rest of the nation. Considering that the automakers are already in a world of hurt financially, some may see stringent regulations as "kicking them when they're down," while others may see it as an historic opportunity to make real changes.
Currently, there's a deadline of April 1, 2009 to set the future standards for the 2011-2015 model years. We have serious reservations as to whether that's enough time for automakers to meet any new rules that are too stringent, but we'll just have to wait and see what happens in the Spring. See the official statement after the break.
[Source: Green Car Advisor]
STATEMENT FROM THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
The Bush Administration will not finalize its rulemaking on Corporate Fuel Economy Standards. The recent financial difficulties of the automobile industry will require the next administration to conduct a thorough review of matters affecting the industry, including how to effectively implement the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has done significant work that will position the next Transportation Secretary to finalize a rule before the April 1, 2009 deadline.