Five Reponses To President Obama’s Proposal For Toughened Fuel Efficiency Standards

On Wednesday, the White House formally issued a proposal to nearly double automotive fuel efficiency standards by 2025. The proposal to boost the standards to 54.5 miles per gallon – a jump from the 27.3 mpg required today – comes on the heels of an agreement President Obama reached this summer with automakers.

Here’s a glance at five responses to the news:

Dan Becker, Safe Climate Campaign

“It is not every decade that a president does something to simultaneously help the environment, consumers and the auto industry. President Obama has done just that. These standards are the biggest single step any nation has taken to fight global warming. They will slash our oil addiction.”

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Midwest Memo: Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Chrysler's car sales were up in April, as were Ford's and GM's. Photo by Ricardo Giaviti via Flickr.

Auto companies presented their sales numbers for April yesterday. Chrysler, Ford, and GM all saw an increase in sales, mostly in smaller, fuel efficient cars thanks to rising gas prices.

In yesterday’s Midwest Memo we shared that Michigan had set a new record for gas prices. Now, so has Chicago. The average cost for gasoline in the Windy City is at an all-time high of $4.44 per gallon. Ouch.

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Midwest Memo: Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Gas prices in Michigan have hit a record high. Photo by Kristen Steele via Flickr.

Gas prices continue to go up nationwide, and in Michigan they’ve hit a record . According to, parts of Michigan are now paying more than $4.29 for a gallon of gasoline, partly because refinery problems are leading to a decline in gasoline supplies in the area. That’s not quite as expensive as Chicago, but still an eye opener in the state that’s home to American auto companies. Meanwhile, the Ohio Petroleum Council says the death of Osama bin Laden isn’t expected to push gas prices any lower.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has announced that Michigan is getting $4 million more to secure its border with Ontario, Canada through improved communications systems. The money is part of a larger effort to increase emergency response measures along the Canadian and Mexican borders.

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Midwest Memo: Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Chrysler headquarters in Michigan. Photo by fiatontheweb via flickr.

Michigan based automaker Chrysler says it plans to pay back the government bailout it received during the recession by the end of June. Chrysler received $7.4 billion in loans from the U.S. and Canadian governments. The company said they will pay back the remaining $6.6 billion it still owes as long as economic conditions remain steady. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was one of the chief architects of the government loans given to Chrysler and GM. He will be making an appearance at the Detroit Economic Club today. Geithner will discuss economic matters with local political, business, and community leaders.


Rising gas prices have slowed economic recovery nationwide. Photo by Kristen Steele via Flickr.

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Midwest Memo: Thursday, April 21, 2011

The cost of gasoline in Chicago as of April 21, 2011. Photo by Micki Maynard.


If you need gas for the Easter holiday, you might want to fuel up now, because prices are supposed to go even higher. The average gas price in Michigan is expected to jump between $4.05 and $4.15 a gallon. As you can see from this picture, gas prices in Chicago are well passed the $4.00 a gallon mark.

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Midwest Memo: Tuesday, April 19, 2011

GM is hiking prices for its cars and trucks. Photo courtesy of Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

General Motors cars and trucks are getting more expensive. The Detroit based car company says it will raise the prices of its vehicles by about $123 dollars to make up for jumps in the cost of oil and metal starting May 2nd. GM is the third company recently to announce an increase in auto prices, joining Toyota and Ford.

In other auto news, electric cars have won the favor of the Obama administration. Now, hydrogen fuel cell cars are trying to do the same. Supporters say hydrogen powered cars are ready for the mass market, but U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu disagrees. Since there’s not federal funding backing up the research, these cars – such as the Honda FCX Clarity – costs about $600 a month to lease.

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