As gas prices rise, and we sit on the peak of oil production with nowhere to go but down, the Obama administration is working to reduce consumption. Brad Plumer on The Washington Post, emphasis mine:
The first time the Obama administration decided to hike fuel-economy standards for cars and light trucks, it wasn’t a terribly hard sell. This was back in May 2009, and the government had just bailed out GM and Chrysler, while California was threatening to move forward with its own plan for even more stringent fuel rules if the federal government couldn’t come up with a workable plan. Under the circumstances, the auto industry didn’t take long to agree to raise fleetwide CAFE standards to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016. Easy enough.
But now comes the hard part. The EPA and Department of Transportation are currently working on phase two of the CAFE plan, which would ratchet up fuel-economy standards anywhere from 3 percent to 6 percent per year between 2017 and 2025 — at its most ambitious, this new plan could mean a fleet-wide average of 62 miles per gallon by 2025. Is that even doable? If you ask advocacy groups like the Union of Concerned Scientists, cars and light trucks could probably get there with existing technology: