Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New CAFE Standards, But No Motor Fuel Tax Substitute

In what was initially billed by the White House as "an historic" announcement of new mileage standards for cars and trucks, the Obama administration today released new rules which will accelerate by four years a mileage standard fleet average of 35.5 miles per gallon. The new mileage requirement will now go into effect in 2016 instead of 2020 as the Bush administration had planned. Meanwhile, nobody in Congress on or Pennsylvania Avenue has as yet bothered to explain how all the revenue the "cash for clunkers" program and these new CAFE rules will drain from the federal highway trust fund is going to be replaces in reauthorization legislation due by the end of this month, but which clearly will be deferred for at least six months while Congressional committees puzzle over the question how to raise taxes on the traveling public without appearing to raise taxes on the traveling public.
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