In a strategic political move, the Obama administration has finalized unprecedented fuel economy standards for new automobiles, according to Transportation Nation:
Cars and light trucks will have to deliver an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 according to new fuel economy standards finalized by the Obama administration today.
The White House issued the requirements for automakers’ fleets at a heated political moment: Republicans are gathering for their national convention along the oil-rig-speckled Gulf Coast, (full coverage here) and just days ago Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney issued his energy plan that NPR said, “doubles down on fossil fuels” in stark contrast to President Obama.
More pointedly though, this requirement to nearly double the existing fuel economy of small autos comes as a hurricane bears down on New Orleans. Gas prices spiked $1-a-gallon after Katrina struck seven years ago. So it’s no coincidence that President Obama’s statements today touted future cost savings at the pump and energy independence from higher average fuel efficiency.
“These fuel standards represent the single most important step we’ve ever taken to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” said President Obama in the statement posted below. “This historic agreement builds on the progress we’ve already made to save families money at the pump and cut our oil consumption.”
Read the full press release and more here.