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March 11, 2008: The pain Americans feel at the pump is growing ever worse as gas prices across the country reach new sky-high records. USA Today reports:   U.S. demand for gas traditionally rises as we get closer to the summer travel months and consistently high demand from overseas is keeping prices high. In January, 71 percent of Americans said that they expect gas prices to reach $4 a gallon this summer and it seems we're right on track to get to that point ... A North Carolina man is touting filling up with CNG (compressed natural gas).    Here's an interesting side note:  ACEEE , even greener than the  Toyota Prius ...  We  continue to see stories about  in favor of  Is that really such a shock to anyone outside of Detroit? ...

March 4, 2008: You might expect this EPA to act as a rubber stamp for the auto industry.  But is it too much for them to maintain at least some pretense of acting in the public interest?  As a Register-Guard editorial states:  ... Over the next two years, more than 50 teams will compete for the international Automotive X Prize.  To win the $10 million prize, teams are challenged to build a vehicle that is energy efficient, clean and safe.   ... Volkswagen will unveil a diesel-electric hybrid, the Golf TDI Hybrid, at the Geneva auto show. Jalopnik reports: "VW has combined a turbocharged 75 HP 3-cylinder diesel, a 27 HP electric motor with a trunk-mounted NiMH battery, and a 7-speed DSG.  ...  

February 26, 2008: Would you let a climatologist design your next car?  Of course not.  But that isn't stopping GM Executive Bob Lutz from weighing in on weather science. Forget about that IPCC report concluding:   According to Reuters:   Is this just a meaningless side comment from a non-expert?  Maybe not.  We are troubled by ... Automotive News is saying that  ...  And the Detroit News reports that the   ...  

February 19, 2008: Congratulations to the International Energy Agency (IEA), an advisory body for 27 industrialized countries, for calling out the United States on what we here at 40MPG.org have been saying for a long time:   "... the IEA pointed out many European nations as well as Japan and China currently have stricter standards in place than the new U. S. Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards for cars and light trucks that won't take full effect before 2020. Amen! ... Thank goodness that state officials take the greenhouse gas auto emissions issue seriously.  , joining several other states with air quality rules that are more stringent than those of the federal government  ...  After dipping for a bit, gas prices seem to be heading back up judging from reports across the U.S., including , , and   Looks like American consumers are right to fear $4 gas by this summer ...  

February 12, 2008: Motor Trend has an interesting article that touts a supposed new trend among automakers toward  ... Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels and Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle have proposed a tax based on fuel efficiency, hoping that using the pocketbook will motivate consumers to drive green.  The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports:  You can see the text of the legislation on the Web site for the  ... In addition to the Legacy and Outback diesels Subaru plans to show in Geneva, Autoblog.com reports  ... 'Grease Lightning'?   ...

February 5, 2008: You can read coverage of the 40MPG.org/Civil Society Institute survey on $4 gas and the 2008 elections at , the , the , and the .  More soon! ... Did Detroit get a Christmas present or a death sentence when Congress passed weak fuel-efficiency standards in 2007?  The :  "Because American carmakers tend to make larger and heavier vehicles, Detroit's 'Big Three' of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler will have to meet an average of 33 miles per gallon by 2020 under the new law, while their foreign competitors will be held to an average of 38 mpg, according to an analysis by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute ... Some drivers are surprised that the new law doesn't even attempt to reverse a trend in America over the last two decades toward ever larger vehicles. Light trucks -- defined as pickups, SUVs and other bigger vehicles -- grew from 10 percent of all vehicles sold in the U.S. in 1979 to 53 percent in 2004. Sales of the big vehicles have since crept down to about 50 percent.  'Why can't the American companies do what the Japanese companies do?' said Lori Lynch, 52, a clerk from Rising Sun who recently traded in her beefy American-made SUV -- a GMC Envoy -- and bought a Honda Civic. 'I really don't think that many people are interested in big vehicles anymore.'" ...

January 30, 2008: Check out this news release:  "Gas prices this summer reaching $4 a gallon are expected by 71 percent of Americans, of whom more than half (51 percent) cite fuel prices as their #1 economic worry for 2008, ahead of fears of recession, the mortgage foreclosure meltdown and the prospect of more joblessness.   A scientific national survey of 1001 Americans conducted for the nonprofit and nonpartisan Civil Society Institute (CSI) think tank and its 40MPG.org project also found that what presidential and congressional candidates say about energy issues could have a big impact on the outcome of the 2008 elections.  Nearly nine out of 10 Americans (89 percent) - including 95 percent of Democrats and 84 percent of both Republicans and Independents - say that 'the views of candidates on energy-related issues -- such as gasoline prices, home heating oil prices, global warming and energy independence' will be an important factor in how they vote.  Other key findings of the new CSI/40MPG.org survey include:  Over four out of five Americans (84 percent) - including 91 percent of Democrats, 80 percent of Independents and 76 percent of Republicans -- do not 'think the federal government is doing enough about high energy prices and the U.S. dependence on Middle Eastern energy sources'; nearly half of Americans (49 percent) are 'not satisfied' that 'Congress did everything it could to improve fuel-efficiency rules for U.S. automakers' in recently increasing federal mile-per-gallon standards; over four out of five Americans (84 percent) think 'big oil companies are currently gouging consumers at the gas pump'; and about four out of five Americans (79 percent) would support 'a tax on the windfall profits of oil companies if the resulting revenues were spent' for 'research on alternative energy.'"  Listen to the news event here ...  

January 24, 2008: Did you know that the most recycled consumer product in the world is the car? According to the U.S. EPA, 95 percent of all cars get recycled at the end of their lives. But how do companies end up being so environmentally unfriendly on a bottom-line basis? CNN states:   ... An interesting :   "BMW - specifically, Stefan Krause, BMW's head of sales and marketing - is seriously considering starting up a new brand to build and sell a line of green vehicles."  That seems promising ... If auto companies come to Washington, they have to expect to get lobbied, right?  Co-op America is encouraging Washington Auto Show attendees to   ...

January 17, 2008: With several automakers , Audi unveiled a sexy, clean diesel sports car at the Detroit Auto Show.    "" ... Check out this CBS Evening News story about   As CBS notes:  "According to figures from the 2003 National Highway Travel Survey, that's enough to get roughly eighty percent of Americans through their daily routine...After those 40 miles, the car switches to a standard gas-powered engine."  ... When most of us think about 'green' car companies, we're thinking about how good the fuel economy of their vehicles is or how small the emissions of their vehicles are.  But Subaru is showing another way companies can reduce their environmental footprint: reducing the impact of the production process.    ... And on the campaign trail,   ...

January 10, 2008: The states now play a key role when it comes to fuel efficiency for vehicles.  Consider what the Detroit News writes about California:    If Washington won't get the job done on fuel efficiency, we can only hope that it will happen in the Sacramentos of the world ...  Remember:  We told you that the technology for significantly better gas mileage already exists.  Now, Detroit is changing its tune and acknowledging the existence of that technology.   Ford announced a new engine technology they say    Nice to see that U.S. automakers finally have stopped pretending that the high-MPG tech doesn't exist! ... Daimler reports that  ... And if you're looking for another green travel choice to see the country that not only saves money at the pump and hotels at the same time, look no further:  ...

January 4, 2008: Edmunds reports: "Hybrid market share (for 2007) increased 61.5 percent compared to last year, mainly because sales of the Toyota Prius increased by 71 percent." Taking this into account, they predict: ... The new year also brings with it ... drum roll please ... . We're already seeing of ... One way U.S. auto companies plan to meet the new fuel economy standards is by adding more diesels into their fleet. UPI reports: ...

December 28, 2007: Here is one thing we know that you didn't get for Christmas:  the traditional December easing of gasoline prices.  Not only did that break fail to materialize for your wallet, but things are going to get worse in 2008 ... much worse.  As the Los Angeles Times reports:   And here is the really scary part, that was what the experts were predicting before the December 27th assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto triggered a  ... Maybe attitudes are changing after all.   Consider this editorial from a Michigan (!) newspaper:   Now, that sounds like a great New Year's resolution for Detroit! ...

December 21, 2007: You have to give Detroit credit where credit is due.  They may not know how to build high-MPG cars the way every other automaker in the world has figured out how to do ... but they sure know how to run rings around a Democratic Congress.   First, and then .  Talk about adding insult to injury! Of course, it's nice to know that and that and want to sue The Decider to overturn the EPA decision.  But this was a totally predictable and entirely self-inflicted wound for Democrats who controlled the energy legislation.   By caving into Detroit by pushing the 35 MPG standard out much farther into the future than is technologically necessary, Congress made it possible for the Bush Administration to kill a much more serioius-minded state-level initiative to control wasteful energy consumption by autos.  The EPA may have pulled the trigger, but Congress handed them the bullet ...

December 14, 2007: The temptation is always to say that something is better than nothing, but it's impossible to get excited about the lame House/Senate compromise on MPG.   And that's particularly true when bill proponents point to the MPG "triumph" as one of the best things about the bill!     Brent Blackwelder, president of Friends of the Earth Action, may have said it best:  As we reported in June and earlier in February, a significant majority of Americans want 40 MPG now - not the 35 MPG by 2020 envisioned in the House/Senate bill.  And why shouldn't Americans demand more? It's not like it's impossible to get the job done.  The experts are very clear in saying that we could have 40 MPG today - and that there is no reason to drag the process out to 2020 - or later. Someone once said that  but Congress is falling far short of the "possible" standard when it comes to setting tougher MPG standards to reduce energy waste, save consumers money at the gas pump and curb our dangerous addiction to foreign oil ...      

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