New mileage standards

The Obama administration's aggressive move on vehicle fuel mileage Aug. 28 receives important context from its legislative origins. The Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) didn't conjure out of nothing an average industry fuel economy standard of 54.5 mpg across the fleet of new vehicles by 2025. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) already required an increase to at least 35 mpg by 2020. The administration is exercising its prerogative to regulate beyond statutory minimums. In 2010, it set a first-phase fuel-mileage standard 35.5 mpg for model years beginning in 2016. EISA also leapfrogged predecessor standards. Wh...

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