President George W. Bush and his cabinet have abandoned efforts to finalize rules to increase fuel-economy standards for vehicles through the 2015 model year. After weeks of internal debates, the White House abandoned the issue and is now leaving it up to the Obama administration.
A proposal was made in April that would have increased nationwide fleet standards to 31.6 mpg by 2015 – costing automakers an estimated $47 billion.
The deadline to finalize the ruling is scheduled for April 1, 2009. The proposal will require passenger cars and light trucks to hit 35 mpg by 2020, a 40 percent increase over current levels.
The Office of Management and Budget had originally signed off on a final rule on Nov. 14. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters was even supposed to fly out to Colorado to announce the final fuel-economy regulations. However, officials decided to delay the announcement once Detroit’s Big 3 came knocking on Capitol Hill for federal aid.
Source: Detroit News