Friday, July 29, 2011

54.5 Miles Per Gallon

Meanwhile, other parts of the government continue to do their jobs:
Ushering in the largest decrease in auto fuel consumption since the 1970s, President Barack Obama and automobile manufacturers Friday announced a deal that will save drivers money at the pump and dramatically cut heat-trapping gases coming from tailpipes.

The agreement pledges to double overall fuel economy to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, bringing major under-the-hood changes for the nation's automobiles starting in model year 2017. Cars and trucks on the road today average 27 miles per gallon.

"This agreement on fuel standards represents the single most important step we have taken as a nation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil," Obama said, sharing the stage with top executives of the major auto makers before a backdrop of some of the most cutting-edge cars on the road.

"Just as cars will go further on a gallon of gas, our economy will go further on a barrel of oil," Obama said.

When achieved, the 54.5 mile-per-gallon target will reduce U.S. oil consumption from vehicles by 40 percent and halve the amount of greenhouse gas pollution coming out of exhausts.

I think this is great. There are lots of ways car companies could be increasing the mileage of their cars. They don't because most people don't really care. Buying gas is a trivial expense for most Americans, no matter how much they like to complain about rising prices, so, as with lightbulbs, we need to use other kinds of incentives to nudge the market.

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