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Obama Administration Delays CAFE Standards

The Obama Administration will not meet its September deadline for releasing its 2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. The new deadline is mid-November of this year. CAFE is a national effort to increase fleet-wide vehicle fuel-economy averages to 54.5 mpg by 2025.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced the delay in a statement, citing more “coordination with California” and “car companies” as the reason for the holdup, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The New York Times indicates that California needs more time because the state “agreed not to issue its own fuel-economy standards independent of the federal government.”

The Los Angeles Times explains further, saying the Obama Administration and “other participants in negotiations over the rules said their issuance would be delayed six weeks because of the volume of comments received and the technical work that remained.”

The new CAFE standards roughly doubles the current passenger vehicle average, which is about 27.8 mpg. The EPA says the standards will apply to light-duty vehicles, which include cars, minivans, SUVs and trucks that weigh less than 8,500 pounds, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The standards go into effect beginning in 2017, giving automakers roughly five years to make preparations.

The administration’s initial standards are only the beginning of a series of guidelines and targets for automakers. The New York Times says, “The administration is still expected to issue the rules next July on schedule, five years before the 2017-25 CAFE standards take effect.”

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