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New SUV Standards in the Works

Thu, 03/23/2006 - 3:00am
Andrea Lyn Van Benschoten

The Bush administration is expected to finish its overhaul of fuel economy rules by next week. This new plan will affect pickup trucks, minivans and most sport utility vehicles (SUVs) in an effort to improve gas mileage.

The proposal would require automakers to improve standard for light trucks starting in 2008. All automakers would need to comply with the new regulations by 2011.

The proposal would require a fleet wide average of 24 mpg by 2011. This would be an overall improvement of 1.8 mpg over four years from the current 21.6 mpg.

Environmental groups have asked for this improved average, as well as an increased oil savings and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Groups closely following the deliberations said the administration could consider making the standards apply for the first time to large SUVs and vans weighing between 8,500 and 10,000 pounds, as reported Wednesday by The Wall Street Journal.

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