By Andrew Restuccia – 07/22/11 12:52 PM ET, the Hill
The Michigan congressional delegation blasted an Obama administration vehicle fuel economy proposal Thursday, arguing it is “overly aggressive and not reasonably feasible.”
In a letter to President Obama, the lawmakers criticized a proposal that administration officials reportedly outlined in a series of meetings with the country’s automakers to require cars and light-duty trucks to average 56.2 miles per gallon by 2025. The proposal amounts to a 5 percent average annual increase in vehicle fuel economy between 2017 and 2025.
“Such a proposal would push beyond the limits of reasonably feasible technology development and would have significant negative ramifications for U.S. jobs and competitiveness,” the lawmakers said.
The letter calls on the administration to negotiate an “acceptable solution” with the Big Three automakers and the United Auto Workers. Administration officials have held a series of meetings with the auto industry on the standards in recent weeks.
The lawmakers raised concerns about the scope of the fuel economy standards, arguing that they should only be set in five-year increments.
“No previous fuel economy rulemaking has exceeded five model years or has a starting point so far in the future,” the letter says.
Fuel economy standards for 2022-2025 should be finalized only after a review of the status of the 2017-2021 standards, the lawmakers say.
The letter also says that the administration is mulling the possibility of setting a standard requiring 3.5 percent average annual fuel economy increases between 2017 and 2021 for light duty trucks.
“We need a balanced approach to fuel economy regulation with reasonable and achievable targets that will reduce our consumption of oil and greenhouse gas emissions while preserving U.S. jobs and promoting U.S. manufacturing,” the letter said. “ We do not believe the administration’s current proposal will achieve that balanced approach and believe it instead could have a detrimental effect on the U.S. economy.”
The letter was signed by Sens. Carl Levin (D) and Debbie Stabenow (D), as well as Reps. Fred Upton (R), John Dingell (D), Dale Kildee (D), Dave Camp (R), Mike Rogers (R), Sandy Levin (D), Candice Miller (R), Gary Peters (D), Thaddeus McCotter (R), Justin Amash (R), Tim Walberg (R), Bill Huizenga (R), Hansen Clarke (D) and Dan Benishek (R).
Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D) did not sign the letter.