Liberal Republicans Push 100% Hike in Fuel Efficiency Standards

Via Roll Call:

A collection of 15 Republicans — all former Members of Congress, governors or Environmental Protection Agency administrators — called on the president Wednesday to set aggressive auto emission and fuel efficiency standards beginning in 2017.

“I’m just very passionate about the environment,” said former Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.), who spearheaded the letter to President Barack Obama. “We want the administration to know there are serious-minded Republicans who are well informed on the issue who urge him to take aggressive action.”

Other former House Members who signed the letter were Michael Castle (Del.), who is now a partner with the lobbying and law firm DLA Piper; Vernon Ehlers (Mich.); Wayne Gilchrest (Md.); Benjamin Gilman (N.Y.); Amory Houghton (N.Y.); Connie Morella (Md.); Chris Shays (Conn.); Jim Ramstad (Minn.); and Peter Smith (Vt.). Former EPA Administrators Christine Whitman, Russell Train, Bill Reilly and Bill Ruckelshaus also signed the letter, as did Jim Douglas, a former governor of Vermont.

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In their letter, the Republicans wrote that annual increases of about 6 percent through the year 2025 would be acceptable.

What does that 6 percent number equate to in real terms?

A 100 percent increase, according to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which represents various members of the auto industry who have pioneered more fuel-efficient cars that appeal to consumers looking to save money on gas like Toyota, Volkswagen, Mazda, Ford and GM. If the Republicans cited in the Roll Call piece get their way, the Prius with its 51 miles per gallon average would be re-designated a dirty polluter.

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