"White House, Carmakers Near Deal on Fuel Standards"

"WASHINGTON -- The White House is nearing compromise with automakers on tougher fuel standards for cars and trucks, after talks in which the industry lobbied for a slower pace of efficiency requirements for their most popular passenger trucks.

The Obama administration is preparing to require that automakers' vehicle fleets average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, according to people with knowledge of the talks, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to do so publicly.

For weeks, stakeholders in talks for new fuel efficiency standards from 2017 to 2025 said the White House had sought a fleetwide average of 56.2 mpg. The administration can issue the new requirements without industry consent, but opted to negotiate to increase industry buy-in.

The slightly lower target signals that the White House and carmakers have come to terms on the most significant sticking point: fuel efficiency goals for light trucks, a category that also includes SUVs, minivans and full-size pickups, which remain the country's best-selling vehicles."

Neela Banerjee and Christi Parsons report for the Los Angeles Times July 27, 2011.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011