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Automakers succumb – embrace tougher emissions and mileage standards

After battling tougher nationwide rules for automobile emissions and mileage standards for years, today automakers will join the federal and state governments and environmental activists and accept a National Program that will mandate reduced carbon emissions and increased fuel economy.

According to a press release from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and news reports the National Program, which will “begin to take effect in 2012,” will accomplish the following:

  • Put in place a federal standard for fuel efficiency that is as tough as the California program;
  • Imposing the first-ever limits on climate-altering gases from cars and trucks;
  • Create a car and light truck fleet in the United States that is almost 40 percent cleaner and more fuel-efficient — average of 35.5 miles per gallon — by 2016; and
  • Preserve vehicle diversity.

To accomplish all this, consumers will have to pay an extra $1,300 per vehicle.

Dave McCurdy, president and CEO, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers says this is a new beginning:

What’s significant about the announcement is it launches a new beginning, an era of cooperation. The President has succeeded in bringing three regulatory bodies, 15 states, a dozen automakers and many environmental groups to the table. We’re all agreeing to work together on a National Program.

It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you single-handedly control an industry — deciding who runs the company, forcing mergers and bankruptcies. It has only cost us $23 billion, so far, to prop up General Motors and Chrysler long enough to make this grand bargain. How much per vehicle has the auto industry bailout cost?

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