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Higher Gas Prices Strengthen Support For Higher Fuel Economy Standards

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From AAIA Capital Report

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — According to a May 16 poll released by the Consumer Federation of American and Consumer Action, 65 percent of Americans support an aggressive fuel economy standard of 60 miles per gallon (MPG) by 2025, based on mounting concerns over rising gas prices.

Citing the poll results as support, two consumer advocacy organizations are pushing the White House to implement a 60 MPG level as the long-term fuel economy standard. Currently, administration officials are negotiating new fuel economy standards for the time period of 2017 to 2025, while the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are conducting research to supplement their fuel economy standard recommendations, which will be presented to President Obama.

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The survey cited by these two consumer organizations states that 65 percent of survey respondents support the 60 MPG standard if the payback period is three to five years. However, support for the 60 MPG standard drops to roughly 50 percent when informed that the payback period would take 10 years. The payback period is defined as the time it takes for the lower fuel costs to pay for the higher automobile costs. The point of contention remains the issue of how much consumers are willing to pay for a more fuel-efficient automobile and this issue remains a hot topic between automakers and consumer advocacy and environmental organizations.

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