March 29, 2006
Today the Bush administration made an announcement that may give you more distance for your dollars when it comes to driving. Over the past few weeks, we've seen gas prices shoot up at gas stations across town, and across the country. The government has now stepped in to make those weekly stops at the pump last a little bit longer.
As you drive by your local gas station, it's probably safe to say that you're not too happy with view. That's why the government is forcing auto makers to producer trucks that give you more miles per gallon.
“The new standards represent the most ambitious fuel economy goals for light trucks ever developed in the program's 27 year history,” said Norman Mineta, Transportation Secretary.
The change will cover all light trucks including: SUVs, pickups and minivans. Right now trucks only have to average 21.6 miles per gallon. Truck makers are going to have to raise that up to 24 gallon by 2011.
This new standard could raise the sticker value of trucks, but local dealers don't feel this will make a difference.
“I don't think it's going to affect sales that much because somebody that has a business and needs it for that kind of work,” said Jim Childress, truck sales manager. “They’re going to purchase that tuck to take care of their commercial needs.”
This announcement comes after President Bush said, “we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil,” during his State of the Union Declaration.
The government says the new standards will help save 11 billion gallons of gasoline. In return, helping more Americas become less dependent on foreign oil.
“We're looking at technology that isn't going to add all that much to the price of the vehicle,” said Phil Gott, auto analyst for Global Insight. “I would expect to see a continuing scale of ever increasing regulations.”
The changes are expected to add $200 to a vehicle's sticker price, but drivers should see a return in about four years through fuel savings. The new standards only apply to trucks. Standards for cars will not have to change.