Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Want better mileage? You can have your say today

Federal officials will be in Philadelphia today to take testimony on proposed fuel efficiency standards that would require cars to get 54.5 miles a gallon -- a "fleet" average -- by 2025.

Want better mileage? You can have your say today

Would you like your car to get better gas mileage?

Federal officials will be in Philadelphia today to take testimony on proposed fuel efficiency standards that would require cars to get 54.5 miles a gallon -- a "fleet" average -- by 2025.

Today's average? About 27 mpg. By one estimate, the new standards could save consumers $4,000 in fuel costs over the life of an average vehicle.

At a similar hearing Tuesday in Detroit, home of the American automobile, about 90 people testified -- mostly in favor.

"Writing new regulations that will require cars and trucks to have significantly higher fuel economy by 2025 prompted years of fighting among automakers, environmentalists, regulators and consumer groups. But now that the standards have been proposed, nearly everyone involved in the process is on board with the results," write Nick Bunkley in the New York Times.

"There appears to be no significant opposition amongst responsible persons," said U.S. Rep. John D. Dingell, a Michigan Democrat who had fought earlier attempts to boost fuel economy.

"These standards will cut our oil use by more than we get from Persian Gulf, Venezuela and Russia combined," said Larry Schweiger of the National Wildlife Federation.

Six veterans testified as well, pointing out that our need for imported oil threatens national security -- and American lives.

Today's hearing begins at 10 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza Philadelphia Downtown, 1800 Market Street. It is being held by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

If you can't get there but would like to listen in, you can do so by by calling 866-299-3188 and then using conference code 734 214 4423#.

Also, the Sierra Club is tweeting from the hearing. Search for @SierraClubLive.  I'll retweet when I can.

Among those expected to testify today:  the Clean Air Council, various medical groups, the National Automobile Dealers Association, the Pew Clean Energy Program, Greater Philadelphia Taxi Association, the director of Philadelphia's Air Management Program, the Union of Concerned Scientists, several veterans, and officials from Hyundai, Ford and Toyota.

A fact sheet about the proposed standard is available on EPA’s Website http://www.epa.gov/otaq/climate/documents/420f11038.pdf.

Sandy Bauers Inquirer GreenSpace Columnist
About this blog

GreenSpace is about environmental issues and green living. Bauers also writes a biweekly GreenSpace column about environmental health issues for the Inquirer’s Sunday “Health” section.

Sandy Bauers is the environment reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where she has worked for more than 20 years as a reporter and editor. She lives in northern Chester County with her husband, two cats, a large vegetable garden and a flock of pet chickens.

Reach Sandy at sbauers@phillynews.com.

Sandy Bauers Inquirer GreenSpace Columnist
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