Feds proposed new fuel economy rules

March 30, 2006

The federal government has proposed new fuel economy standards for light trucks, including the largest sport utility vehicles.

Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta said the proposed standards will save 10.7 billions of gallons of fuel.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the proposed fuel economy standards represent the second time the Bush administration has increased mileage standards for light trucks and the first complete reform of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy program for pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles and minivans since its inception in 1979.

"The new standards represent the most ambitious fuel economy goals for light trucks ever developed in the program's 27-year history," Mineta said. "And, more importantly, they close loopholes that have long plagued the current system."

The new standards set individual miles-per-gallon goals for all passenger trucks sold in the United States, requiring manufacturers to install fuel saving technology on all such vehicles.

The new fuel economy standards also strengthen the miles-per-gallon target for light trucks from 21.6 to 24 miles per gallon.

Large SUVs would be included in the CAFE program starting in 2011.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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