Posted Aug 22nd 2012 7:47PM
Representatives from the Republican Party have asked President Obama to delay pushing through strict new automotive fuel economy regulations. The trio of top GOP legislators consists of auto dealer Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, Jim Jordan (also of PA) and House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa of California (pictured). The three legislators are calling for further review of the 2017-2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy targets. According to a report by The Detroit News, Issa says "Higher fuel efficiency standards is a goal I share – but not at the expense of consumer safety."
As the report notes, a deal was struck last summer that would actually lower fuel economy increases from 2017-2021 of 3.5 percent annually for light trucks and five percent every year for cars. Part of this pact stipulated a mid-term review to confirm that reaching these goals was even possible.
The National High Traffic Safety Administration, along with the Environmental Protection Agency decided not to meet a self-imposed Wednesday deadline for finalization of the new rules. NHTSA head David Strickland has said that the new regulations will be announced in "days, not weeks," while one House Republican has suggested that the White House may be having misgivings about pushing the legislation through now.
It is said that the new standards will cost the auto industry $157.3 billion, but could eventually result in $1.7 trillion in savings for consumers on fuel expenditures. Unfortunately, the new standards could also mean an additional $2,000 to the price of the average automobile by 2025. According to Representative Kelly, "the new CAFE standards will limit choice, compromise safety, and increase costs to millions of Americans..."
The issue may be out of their control, however, as Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood noted in a recent interview that the legislation is "... coming soon. We're working with the White House and the EPA to roll it out."