Wednesday, May 20, 2009

CAFE Does Not Serve Ethanol, But Are You Confused?


By Norris McDonald

Are you confused about the mileage standards you have been reading and hearing about in the news? Well don't feel special. We cover this stuff and the numbers are all over the map from various sources (including us). First, CAFE stands for Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards and automakers are required to average 27.5 mpg in the auto fleets they sell.

The confusion comes with the Obama Adminstration's announcement of moving up the target date established in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 from 2020 to 2016. They want us at, and here is where all kinds of numbers have been reported, 35.5 mpg by 2016. Yet we have seen quotes of 42 mpg and 39 mpg. The White House says 35.5 mpg so we will stick with that figure.

It is interesting that California is still leveraging its waiver request to set higher standards. California claims they will not seek to raise their standards above the national standard if they are granted a waiver to do so under the Clean Air Act. We think the governator 'will be back' with the higher standard after EPA gives them the waiver.

Rod Serling would be right at home with air and climate issues.

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