Negotiations are currently under way between the Obama administration and American automakers over new emissions standards—the government wants to double fuel efficiency standards to 56.2 miles per gallon. “The standard would put domestic vehicle fuel efficiency on a par with that in Europe, China and Japan, saving consumers billions of dollars at the pump and creating for the first time a truly global automobile market.” Automakers are lobbying to weaken the negotiations and receive as much government support as they can.
What’s the Big Idea?
In the wake of 2008’s economic implosion, automakers had little choice but to acquiesce to new government fuel efficiency standards while taxpayers were bailing out their companies. But now, these same companies are on the rebound and ready to oppose regulation where they believe they can succeed. The Obama administration sees fuel efficiency standards as part of its policy to, “decrease oil imports by a third by 2025 and help to insulate American families from the ups and downs of gas prices while also creating and saving jobs in the American auto industry.”