The NHTSA will be accepting comments and proposals on the new fuel economy rules until Tuesday, July 1.
The current CAFE law, enacted by Congress and President Bush in December, will force carmakers to average at least 35mpg by 2020 or pay fines or buy credits from other carmakers whose average fuel-economy levels are beyond those of the standard. There will however be interim deadlines. In April, the NHTSA implemented a law that will force cars to average 35.7mpg and trucks to average 28.6mpg by 2015 – a combined rating of 31.6mpg.
However, these rules were devised when fuel prices were an average $2.42 a gallon. With gasoline already averaging more than $4 a gallon, Markey called the calculation "absurd," reports The Detroit News. He explained that the NHTSA proposal also included a scenario for higher gas prices that assumed a more reasonable fuel price range of $3.14 a gallon in 2016 to $3.74 a gallon in 2030, and shows that deadline could be brought forward given the cost-benefit analysis of the new technology versus the saving in fuel spending for consumers.