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Romney Opposes Fuel Efficiency Standards Actually Moving U.S. Toward Energy Independence

Rebecca Leber
Think Progress / News Report
Published: Tuesday 28 August 2012
Today, the Obama Administration is set to announce new rules that boost fuel efficiency to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, which would save 3 million barrels of oil per day, 2 billion metric tons of carbon pollution, and create 570,000 jobs by 2030.
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Last week, Mitt Romney unveiled a plan for “energy independence” by 2020, a proposal analysts called unrealistic, in part because he would roll back the same initiatives responsible for lowering U.S. foreign oil consumption.

Today, the Obama Administration is set to announce new rules that boost fuel efficiency to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, which would save 3 million barrels of oil per day, 2 billion metric tons of carbon pollution, and create 570,000 jobs by 2030.

Romney not only opposes these new rules, but he would undo existing standards requiring new cars reach an average of 35.5 MPG by 2016, the first improvement the fuel economy standards stalled for two decades. Last fall, Romney said he “would get the EPA out of its effort to manage carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles and trucks.” This spring, Romney blasted fuel economy standards again:

ROMNEY: In my view, the industry got in trouble because the UAW asked for too much, management gave too much and made other mistakes, and the government CAFE [Corporate Average Fuel Economy] standards hurt domestic automakers and provided a benefit to some of the foreign automakers.

The truth is the complete reverse, since higher mileage standards have prompted U.S. automakers to become competitive with efficient foreign cars, while reducing U.S. oil consumption by 2 million barrels per day by 2025. Romney’s own plan for “energy independence” uses Citigroup research based off the assumption that “‘the United States will continue with strict fuel economy standards that will lower its oil demand.” We’ll get even closer to that goal with 54.5 MPG standards.

These standards have helped revive the auto industry. Automotive News reported that new fuel-efficient vehicles are the key drivers of the 2012 increase in sales:

“The changeover to high-mpg models, in all segments is the key market driver this year. Dealers say it has been the release valve on pent-up demand as fuel prices soared.”

In addition, the new standards reduced U.S. gasoline consumption this year. The Energy Information Administration cites the improvements in fuel efficiency as one of these reasons, noting the standards “help reduce gasoline consumption, as more efficient vehicles use less fuel for each mile driven.”

Both the existing and proposed improvements in fuel economy have the support of domestic and nearly all foreign auto companies, the United Auto Workers, states, and other stakeholders.

Romney once supported fuel efficiency, by adopting California standards setting limits on carbon pollution from vehicles as Massachusetts governor. In 2002, he proposed tax breaks for fuel efficient cars and an excise tax for gas-guzzlers.

A few years later, Romney blasted achievable 35 MPG by 2016 standards as an “anvil” weighing down the industry. But since the auto industry bridge loans, and measures like CAFE standards, automakers have bounced back, with fuel efficient cars as a major driver of the 2012 increase in sales. The industry has created 139,000 jobs since 2009, with its strongest sales in the last quarter.

But Romney’s administration would allow our domestic auto industry to once again fall behind its competitors in the rest of the world. It would leave drivers vulnerable to oil and gasoline price spikes. And it would increase our demand for foreign oil imports. The only winners would be big oil companies and members of the OPEC oil cartel.

Originally published on ThinkProgress


If willard wants to be energy

If willard wants to be energy independent he should be talking up wind and solar power and say that he will cut the oil companies from the corporate welfare teat. Instead he wants to cut subsidies for the emerging alternative energy industries and let China beat us once again.

You know, it really is a

You know, it really is a shame that Mr. Romney has allowed the smell of cash under his nose and the weight of it in his pockets to compromise the man who, when younger, actually seemed to "get" what America is about. Makes you wonder what the DNC did to tick him off so badly that he sold his soul to the GOP.

In Europe most of the cars

In Europe most of the cars run on diesel and that means the research has created some really efficient engines. We are seeing in excess of 60MPG for some of the small diesel powered cars from yes, GM, Ford, Dodge and VW, BMW, Mercedes etc. It is time to makes these cars available in the US it is time to support biodiesel up to 7% across the board and it is time to put some teeth into climate change legislation.

The problem with most of

The problem with most of Europe's diesel is it won't pass emission standards in the US. Calif is the largest auto market in the country and doesn't allow new diesel autos. Bio diesel causes food shortages plus decimation of rain forest.

Look, he can kill all the

Look, he can kill all the fuel efficiency standards he wants but the auto industry would have to be insane to follow his lead. Right now, gas is 3.90 and rising. People want fuel efficient cars just to be able to commute to work. If the US auto industry doesn't provide them, someone else will gladly step in to do so. Romney is still living in 1960.

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