Obama unveils new car efficiency standards
Saturday 30 July 2011
US President Barack Obama on Friday unveiled a new deal with automakers on fuel economy standards that he said would be a crucial step towards reducing US dependence on foreign oil.
Obama - flanked by the heads of Ford, General Motors and Chrysler as well as chiefs of Honda and Toyota - said the new miles-per-gallon requirements would help people save money, with gas prices now "killing folks at the pump."
"This agreement on fuel standards represents the single most important step we've ever taken as a nation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil," the US president said in a speech at a convention center in the nation's capital.
"By 2025, the average fuel economy of their vehicles will nearly double to almost 55 miles per gallon," or 23.4 kilometers per liter, he said.
"Weve set an aggressive target, and the companies here are stepping up to the plate."
The program builds on initiatives unveiled in May 2009 that were aimed at both increasing gas mileage and decreasing greenhouse gas pollution for new cars and trucks - the first such policy at the national level.
By 2016, the fleet average fuel consumption for US vehicles will be raised to 35.5 miles per gallon from the 25 miles per gallon seen in 2009.
Most passenger cars must reach 39 miles per gallon by 2016, and light trucks must satisfy fuel consumption regulations of 30 miles per gallon.
The companies joining Obama for Friday's announcement put some of their most fuel-efficient models on display for the occasion.
US gasoline prices have nearly reached historic levels since the start of the year due to market jitters over popular revolutions in oil-producing states across the Middle East and North Africa including Libya.
Obama said gasoline was "just another added expense when money is already tight" and while he acknowledged high prices were "not a new problem," he also admitted there was "no quick fix to the problem."
The president's approval rating has slumped as Americans face tough times, with the economy slow to recover and unemployment still high in the wake of the recession that ended in 2009.
Obama said the new efficiency standards would push automakers to develop new hybrid products and engine technologies, noting: "That means new jobs in cutting-edge industries all across America."
He paid tribute to what he called the "extraordinary progress" of the "Big Three" US automakers, two of which - GM and Chrysler - were saved by the government in 2009.
"After a period of painful restructuring, with the federal government lending a helping hand to two of the Big Three American automakers - were seeing growth and a rise in sales, led by vehicles using new, more fuel-efficient technologies," Obama said.
"That tells us that these standards are going to be a win for consumers, for these companies, for our economy, for our security, and for our planet."
Life & Style blogs
KickAssTorrents down: biggest file-sharing site moves to .cr domain after takedowns
Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
Watch teenager Collin Burns break the Rubik's Cube world record by solving puzzle in just 5.25 seconds
'Are you beach body ready?' backlash: Protein World boss labels feminist campaigners 'terrorists'
The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 5 Stephen Hawking endorses Labour in the General Election
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...
£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...
£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...