The Obama administration announced new fuel efficiency standards that require cars in the United States to average 54.5 miles per gallon by the year 2025.
As the Detroit Free-Press reports, President Obama got this process rolling in 2010, when he asked the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to come up with standards that would lead to new and cleaner cars on the roads.
The administration along with auto makers and environmentalists struck a deal last year that led to this new agreement. The Free Press reports:
"To achieve the new standards automakers will need to develop new technologies and manufacturing processes that will cost the industry billions.
"The administration says the new standards will spur economic growth and create high-quality domestic jobs in cutting edge industries across America.
"Critics say the new standards will make cars too costly for average Americans and that the regulations favor the Detroit Three truck makers."
The AP reports the new standards will double the mileage automobiles are required to provide currently.
The Washington Post spoke to Phyllis Cuttino of Pew's Clean Energy Program. She called the rules "historic," saying the country has made incredible transition. In 2007, she told the Post, Congress argued over whether cars in the country could average 30 mpg.
"This gives me hope for energy policy in this country," Cuttino told the Post.
Update at 1:58 p.m. ET. A Step To Reduce Dependence On Foreign Oil:
The Obama administration made the changes official during a press conference earlier today. According to CBS News, Obama said the new fuel standards "represent the single most important step we've ever taken to reduce our dependence on foreign oil."
"This historic agreement builds on the progress we've already made to save families money at the pump and cut our oil consumption. By the middle of the next decade our cars will get nearly 55 miles per gallon, almost double what they get today. It'll strengthen our nation's energy security, it's good for middle class families and it will help create an economy built to last."