Bush kicks CAFE ball to Obama

  • 10-Jan-2009 07:07 EST

In a surprise move, the Bush administration on Jan. 7 decided that it will not finalize its plans for increasing the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE). It will be up to the Obama administration to implement rules to bring the CAFE standards to the congressionally mandated 35 mpg by 2020. The U.S. Department of Transportation, through its NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) unit, in April had proposed 4.5% annual increases over the years 2011 to 2015. That would bring the CAFE standard to 31.6 mpg, with rules for bringing the standard to its final 35 mpg standard to be drafted at some point in the future. In a statement, the DOT said: "The recent financial difficulties of the automobile industry will require the next administration to conduct a thorough review of matters affecting the industry, including how to effectively implement the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. NHTSA has done significant work that will position the next Transportation secretary to finalize a rule before the April 1, 2009 deadline."

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