Increase Fuel Economy Standards

Promise in the Works President Obama is working on the following promise:

"Will increase fuel economy standards 4 percent per year while providing support to domestic automakers to invest $50 billion to retool their manufacturing facilities in America to produce these vehicles." — Obama's Blueprint for Change


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Updated: January 27, 2009

President issues two executive orders boosting fuel standards

In one order, Obama initiated steps to allow California to set its own standards for auto emissions that are stricter than that of the federal government. Obama directed the Environmental Protection Agency to review a Bush administration decision that denied California a waiver to continue setting the stricter guidelines. Generally speaking, tougher emissions standards translate to higher gas mileage.

In the other order, he fast-tracked the process to apply new fuel standards to 2011 car models. The law states that the rules must be in place 18 months prior to the model release; Obama instructed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to "take all measures" consistent with the law to get the new rules on the books by March 30, 2009.

His ultimate goal is a fleetwide average of at least 35 miles per gallon by model year 2020. The current average for cars and light trucks combined is about 25 miles per gallon.


The White House Web site, executive order on California waiver, signed Jan. 26, 2009, accessed Jan. 27, 2009.

The White House Web site, executive order on CAFE standards, signed Jan. 26, 2009, accessed Jan. 27, 2009.

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