Coalition on a roll to upgrade fuel rules

Friday could be historic for the auto industry as President Obama creates future fuel rules for new vehicles that will be assembled in the U.S. from 2017 to 2025. Lobbying has been intense. Protagonists in the movement are Honda and other OEMs, economists and the National Wildlife Federation. All expect to make higher fuel standards happen.

Honda is in the forefront of car companies praising the push for higher standards.

John Mendel (pictured), executive VP of Sales for American Honda, said Thursday that his company has "actively worked with" President Obama and his team to develop new national fuel economy and greenhouse gas-emissions standards.

"Honda embraces this challenge," he said.

Everyday people will benefit if the new rules make it.

“Whether you’re a commuter in a compact car or a sportsman who needs a pickup truck, every American deserves to access to the most fuel-efficient, technologically advanced vehicles that save them money, cut pollution and deliver great performance,” Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, said Thursday.

“These rules are an important step toward reducing our billion-dollar-a-day addiction to imported oil, money that stronger fuel-efficiency standards will keep at home to invest in job creation here in America.”

There is a fly in the ointment. The 2012 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill under study by the U.S. House of Representatives could block or stall the agreement on new fuel-efficiency standards. The rider is just one of many political attacks on wildlife, air, water and public health in the bill, Schweiger said.

But there is a bright spot. “A broad range of interests – from automakers to unions to conservationists – has come together behind these new rules,” Schweiger said.

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