Auto companies, politicians and environmentalists debate over new fuel standard proposals

Auto companies, politicians and environmentalists debate over new fuel standard proposalsThe Obama administration's ambitious proposal for cars and light trucks, SUVs and vans to average 56 miles per gallon by 2025 received mixed reception among automakers and environmental groups, the Detroit Free Press reports.

The figure was released to the Detroit Three last week as a preliminary number to discuss for the federal fuel economy standards for 2017-2025. Currently, the government has mandated that automakers raise the average fuel economy to 34.1 miles per gallon by 2016.

Automakers fear the "severe economic harm" that could come from this standard, according to Bailey Wood, a spokesman for the National Automobile Dealers Association. Wood told the news source that the standard would make it difficult for manufacturers to create cars that all consumers could afford, which would hurt the market.

Some environmental groups have pushed for 60 miles per gallon to be the standard, arguing that higher fuel economy would cut consumers' fuel bills down, making them more cost-effective.

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