Obama admin delays rule for model years 2017-2025

Source: Jason Plautz, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, August 16, 2012

Despite promising a final rule by the end of July, the Obama administration is still holding the release of new fuel economy standards for cars produced between model years 2017 and 2025.

Industry sources had identified today as a potential release date, but the Department of Transportation said there will be no announcement. Sources now expect the rule to be delayed until at least next week. The administration would not say when the announcement would be made.

“We are in the process of finalizing the rule, which, when combined with other actions taken by this administration, will nearly double the efficiency of the vehicles we drive, helping to save families thousands of dollars at the pump, slashing oil consumption and reducing harmful emissions,” said Lynda Tran, spokeswoman for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “The rule is still undergoing interagency review, and we expect that process to be completed soon.”

A draft rule, which was agreed to in July 2011 after most major automakers signed off, was also delayed last fall to give NHTSA and U.S. EPA more time to write the rule.

Stakeholders say they do not expect major changes to the fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions requirements, which would set up a fleetwide 54.5 mpg fuel economy standard by model year 2025.