The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Brian Nowicki,  (916) 201-6938

Bush Administration Will Not Finalize New National Gas-mileage Standards for Cars, Trucks, and SUVs

Statement by Biological Diversity


The Bush
administration released a statement today saying that it would not finalize
corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards for cars, trucks, and SUVs
through model year 2015. The administration has been postponing the release of
the CAFE standards since November 17, as Congress and the administration
considered options for a bailout of U.S.

"The Bush administration realized
that their unjustifiably low proposed standards were simply not going to
fly after a federal bailout for U.S. automakers," said Brian Nowicki
of the Center for Biological Diversity. "We hope the Obama administration sends
the inadequate proposed rule back to the drawing board to develop standards that
will foster the fuel-efficiency and technology development that is needed to
address the climate crisis and make U.S. automakers competitive

The draft CAFE standards had proposed to set average fleet-wide fuel
efficiency at approximately 31.6 mpg (miles per gallon) by 2015, compared to 35
mpg to 45 mpg already achieved by many vehicle models on the market today,
despite a legal mandate to set gas-mileage standards at the "maximum feasible"
level. Last year, the Ninth Circuit
Court of Appeals, in Center for Biological Diversity v. National Highway
Traffic Administration, ruled that the Bush administration had violated the
law by failing to properly consider greenhouse gas emissions and global warming
when setting gas-mileage standards. The currently proposed standards must also
comply with the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which requires an
average industry fuel efficiency of at least 35 mpg by

"The Bush proposal was developed in secret negotiations between the Bush
administration and the Detroit automakers, and the economic and
environmental analysis was systematically skewed in order to keep fuel-economy
standards unreasonably low," said Nowicki. "Setting strong gas-mileage standards
for automobiles is one of the most important actions the Obama administration
can take to improve American cars and reduce our contribution to global

Today's statement from the Department of Transportation is available at

At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature — to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters and climate that species need to survive.

(520) 623-5252