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Groups Oppose DOT's Proposed Fuel Economy Changes.

In comments filed last week with the Department of Transportation (DOT), 15 environmental, business, and energy policy organizations called upon the agency to rescind its proposed changes to the fuel economy standards for SUVs and light trucks.

According to the groups, the proposed rules exempt SUVs with a gross vehicle weight greater than 8,500 pounds from fuel efficiency requirements. The groups also said the department's goal of increasing fuel efficiency standards by approximately 1.5 miles per gallon over three years is "simply not adequate."

Additionally, the organizations argue that the proposal's plan to create an entirely new structure, based on vehicle size, for setting fuel efficiency standards could potentially result in automakers "gaming" the system and upsizing their trucks in order to take advantage of lower standards for larger models, resulting in a decrease in overall fuel efficiency and an increase in oil consumption.

The groups maintain there should no exemptions for any size or model of car or light truck from fuel efficiency standards and suggest that the separate fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks be phased out over a five-year period and replaced with a single fleet-wide standard. The groups recommend that this standard be increased to at least 40 miles per gallon over the next decade.

The organizations also urged that existing CAFE loopholes be closed, citing the eligibility of auto manufacturers to receive a credit against efficiency standards for producing alternative-fuel vehicles that are capable of running on either gasoline or ethanol but can be operated without using any alternative fuel.

The groups signing off on the statement include the Alliance for Affordable Energy, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, Environmental Energy Solutions, Global Possibilities, the Institute for Environmental Research and Education, Mainstay Energy, the National Environmental Trust, the North Carolina Solar Center, the Oregon Environmental Council, Redwood Alliance, The Stella Group, Ltd., SUN DAY Campaign, SustainableBusiness.com, Triangle Clean Cities Coalition and Vermont Energy Investment Corporation.

Contact: Ken Bossong, phone 301-588-4741.

(EIN STAFF: 11/23)
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Publication:Mobile Emissions Today
Date:Nov 29, 2005
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