Clearly the word has reached the White House that Americans are having trouble making ends meet and they need to cut costs, just as the federal government does. And one of the expenses most families have to deal with is transportation, whether it be getting to work, school, or just the normal needs of day to day life. Quick like a bunny, the government recognized the benefits of making vehicles less expensive, and gas less expensive to boot.

But on second thought, maybe there’s a better plan

White House proposes increased mileage standards for cars, light trucks

The Obama administration wants cars and light trucks in the United States to average 56.2 miles per gallon of gasoline by 2025, a standard that will cut the nation’s oil consumption and carbon output significantly while also raising each vehicle’s cost by about $2,375.

The White House’s ambitious opening bid, which it revealed in conversations with domestic auto companies and lawmakers last week, has already sparked resistance. U.S. automakers have offered to raise fuel efficiency over the next eight years to between 42.6 and 46.7 mpg, according to sources who had been briefed on the negotiations.

I’m sure we can all immediately recognize the benefits of such a plan. The First Lady has been urging everyone to get into better shape, so if you can jack up the cost of getting around you will all doubtless tone up those calves and thighs via walking while looking for a new job. And, of course, your carbon footprint will go down even as your actual footprint expands with fresh callouses.

All snark aside, there were some of the usual wet blankets looking to dump cold water over this spectacular idea.

15 governors call on Obama to adopt “sensible” fuel economy standards

Fifteen Republican governors have sent a letter urging the Obama administration not to enact draconian new fuel economy standards.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are expected to release new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards in September. The Obama administration has already issued guidance suggesting that the new rules would require vehicles to average as much as 62 miles per gallon by 2025, though 56 miles per gallon is more likely.

This absurd standard would mean the average car would have to get mileage higher than the 50 mpg Toyota’s Prius does now, driving up the cost of automobiles, and limiting consumer choice.

Enhanced fuel economy is desirable from all sides. And it’s not as if the auto industry is intentionally designing cars to burn more gas. The free market is in play, and they know they can sell cars which sip gas rather than guzzling it, providing they are of good quality and suited to the consumer’s needs. But to have Washington’s far from invisible hand attempt to push the technology past currently viable limits serves the opposite purpose, pushing the cost of the vehicles upward and making them less desirable.

But don’t let that stop you. This is a fabulous plan.

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