Waste Management; August 2009; Scientific American Magazine; by Steve Mirsky; 1 Page(s)
On May 19 President Barack Obama announced a new federal gas mileage standard: by 2016 the nation's entire car and light truck fleet should average 35.5 miles per gallon. Or just slightly less than the highway mileage I get in my 17-year-old Honda Civic.
The increase in the mileage requirement is actually modest. "The automakers' fleet average has been 27.5 mpg for years," according to an automobile insurance expert I spoke to. "However, this 'whole fleet average' is [expletive]. The rules by which they are allowed to achieve the fleet average are a joke." So when the rubber meets the road, 35.5 will be more like 32 or 28 or, more frighteningly, whatever number General Motors's stock happens to be trading at in 2016."