The new, strict and streamlined national fuel efficiency standard President Obama will announce today could be a victory on three fronts, the Climate Change argues in a piece running on the New York Times web site. Obama will boost his climate change cred, help floundering automakers, and resolve the federal spat with California all in one fell swoop. Obama’s plan will require cars to meet a 35.5mpg by 2016, four years earlier than the previous target date.
But automakers are joining environmental groups in applauding the move. They’ve been asking for a uniform standard, rather than an unpredictable patchwork, and are happy that California won't act on its own on a tougher timetable. Improving efficiency should also help them compete internationally. "There’s no mystery here to how manufacturers could achieve the standards using known technology,” says the director of an energy group. “It’s doable.”