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New mileage standards aim for less fuel, pollution

  • Customers stand in line as Jaqueline Henderson, right, prepares to pump gas at a station in Portland, Ore., Friday, July 29, 2011. President Barack Obama and top auto executives are set to unveil details of a compromise to slash the amount of gasoline cars and trucks will need down the road. The deal will double fuel economy standards to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 and further restrict the tailpipe emissions blamed for global warming.(AP Photo/Don Ryan)

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and automakers ushered in the largest cut in fuel consumption since the 1970s on Friday with a deal that will save drivers money at the pump and dramatically cut heat-trapping gases coming from tailpipes.

The agreement pledges to double overall fuel economy to 54.5 mpg by 2025, bringing even greater under-the-hood changes to the nation's automobiles starting in model year 2017. Cars and trucks on the road today average 27 mpg.

"This agreement on fuel standards represents the single most important step we have taken as a nation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil," Obama said, sharing the stage with top executives of 11 major automakers and a top automobile workers union official, before a backdrop of some of the most cutting-edge cars and pickup trucks on the road.

"Just as cars will go further on a gallon of gas, our economy will go further on a barrel of oil," Obama said.

When achieved, the 54.5 mpg target will reduce U.S. oil consumption from vehicles by 40 percent and halve the amount of greenhouse gas pollution coming out of tailpipes. It builds on a 2009 deal between the Obama administration and automakers, which committed cars and trucks to averaging 35.5 mpg by model year 2016.


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