In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Detroit Pushes National Fuel Efficiency Standard -- But Will it Like the One it Gets?

"What looks as if it might happen is the federal agencies ... may eventually meet California where California is," Becker added. "In other words, they'd set a national standard for auto fuel economy and emissions at the California level."

If you think the automakers would be okay with a national standard at California's level, check out the National Automobile Dealers Association's recent report blasting the state's stronger emissions rules. The auto dealers, reflecting the industry's overall view, appear to assume that a "national fuel standard" would be lower than California's level.

Particularly notable is the automakers' alarm at the idea of eliminating "mix shifting," which allows them to sell smaller numbers of cars with poorer fuel-efficiency records as long as the overall average of cars sold complies with the cleaner standard. Here's the passage of note:

Absent mix shifting, the only way to comply with [California]'s fuel economy/GHG regulation is to deliver for sale in each [California-backing] state a new vehicle fleet that, on average, emits significantly less CO2, which can only be achieved by significantly improving fuel economy.

Significantly improving fuel economy?! As awful as it sounds to Detroit, that may just be the future.