The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Aaron Huertas, 202-331-5458

New EPA Report Shows Need for Stronger Fuel Economy Standards, Science Group Says

Statement by Jim Kliesch, Union of Concerned Scientists


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released a new
fuel economy trends report that projects the real-world average fuel
economy for model year 2008 cars and trucks to reach 20.8 miles per
gallon (mpg), a 1.5 mpg increase since 2004. These numbers reflect
estimated on-road performance, which the agency uses for vehicle window
stickers on dealer lots.

However, the government uses a second set of measurements -- based
on outdated laboratory testing procedures -- to determine automaker
compliance with fuel economy regulations. Using these measurements, the
projected increase for 2008 vehicles is 2 mpg, from 24 to 26 mpg. That
translates into an increase of about 0.5 mpg per year since 2004.

Below is a statement by Jim Kliesch, a senior engineer with the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS):

"Consumers are doing the best they can to buy more fuel efficient
cars and trucks, but automakers are not providing enough options on
showroom floors. The auto industry can and must do more to curb our oil
addiction and save drivers money at the pump. The Bush administration's
own analysis says automakers could achieve 35 mpg by 2015, but its new
proposed fuel economy rules barely put automakers on the path to
reaching 35 mpg by 2020.

"Consumers can't afford a five-year delay in getting to 35 mpg.
The Bush administration needs to act on its own analysis and give
Americans significantly better fuel economy, which will save them money
and protect the environment at the same time."

For UCS's reaction to automaker's attempts to weaken fuel economy standards, go to:

For UCS's reaction to the proposed fuel economy rules, go to:

For a UCS report on overall fuel economy potential, go to:

The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.