President Bush Wants Power To Raise Mileage Figures, Again

The Bush Administration already wielded some power over light trucks and authorizing the rise in mileage figures suggested earlier this year. Now, the administration wants the same power over passenger cars. We can't follow how allowing the current CAFE system to raise the figures would "increase fatalities on America's highways, raise health care costs and reduce employment," as Transportation Secretary Mineta says. While the administration doing it wouldn't. The interesting part is no one is saying what they want the passenger car average raised to. Currently the requirement is 27.5 mpg, but the real average on the roads is actually 29.7 mpg. While those numbers themselves may be inflated, it is safe to say close to 30 mpg as an average isn't the worst we can imagine. And the consumer demand for better mileage is impacting the business, see all the hybrid tech and displacement on demand on the lots these days for proof. This ploy by Washington looks like a whole lot of talk over nothing. One congressman says the average should rise to 33 mpg by 2016. If it's at 29.7 now, does anyone out there think it will not naturally hit 33 mpg by 2016? Regardless, none of this will save you money on your daily commute this week, next month or in 2007.

White House wants to change mileage standards for passenger cars [USA TODAY]

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Breaking!: Bush Thinks Domestic Automakers Relevant? [internal]