America's CAFE standards will climb to 35.5 mpg (42 mpg for cars, 26 mpg for light trucks) by 2016, thanks to the Obama Administration declaring not long after taking power how conflicting national and state (well, California) standards would be turned into one set or rules. But what comes after 2016? The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) says that 45 mpg is the new black and is pushing Obama to look long-term. CFA also believes that the technology to reach a 45 mpg average is available and just needs to be put to use. CFA's director of research, Mark Cooper, said in a statement that:

There is no question that the EPA should take the lead in developing the next generation of standards for the sake of the consumer and the industry. NHTSA not only has statutory limits that prevent long-term planning, but they have a history of close alignment with the domestic car companies, whose current financial woes stem from a lack of fuel efficient vehicles. If they were not in such bad shape, NHTSA could have set the 2016 standard at more than 38 mpg.

Read the CFA's statement here (PDF). The Administration will decide on it's final rules in April, and we can expect a lot more voices to weigh in before then.

[Source: Automotive News (subs req'd)]