Push for cleaner, greener cars could cost you more - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Push for cleaner, greener cars could cost you more

WASHINGTON. - You may have heard about a government plan for new national fuel economy standards and now, you're likely to hear a lot more about the debate from both sides as a 60-day public comment period gets underway.

The two sides are usually separated by a distinct line, but in the past week, big industry and environmentalists have been sharing a lane, both applauding the president's proposal for new fuel economy standards.

"A new national standard aimed at both increasing gas mileage and decreasing green house gas pollution for all cars and trucks sold in America," said President Obama.

Under the plan, automakers must increase average fuel economy ratings to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016.

That's four years sooner than under the current law and eight miles per gallon better than current fuel averages.

"The new standards are aggressive and achievable. And ensure that consumers have a full range of vehicle choices," said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.

For American automakers it could mean more car sales and a way to be competitive in the global market.

Critics worry the plan could be confusing in practice.

Some have been battling California's regulation of tailpipe emissions for years and some say greener on the roads is likely to translate into more green out of your pocket

"There's a lot more parts that go into a car, there's a lot more cost that goes into a car. Automakers are going to pass at least some of that if not all of it along to the consumer," said Morningstar equity analyst David Whiston.

The government says the new standards would save consumers $3,000 dollars in fuel costs while also saving something much more valuable.

The government projects that the vehicle regulations will raise new car and truck prices by an average of $1,100.

The regulations will go through a 60-day public comment period before they would become final early next year.
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