OK, we'll lead with the good news: According to the Environmental Protection Agency, US automakers' vehicles scored a 1% fuel economy gain over 2004, averaging 21 mpg for the 2005 model year, compared to 20.8 mpg last year. The bad news? It'd have to be the 5% decrease since carmakers' most fuel-efficient model year, 1987, when the average US model got 22.1 mpg. EPA officials say the increase in light-truck sales, in the form of SUVs, is the root cause (ya think?), though average mileage hasn't been below 20.6 mpg since 1997. The results leave plenty of room for environmentalists to lament their lost ground, and for free-market petrolheads to flaunt environmentalists' relative lack of lost ground.
Why Is the EPA Delaying a Report on Vehicle Fuel Economy? [internal]