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60 MPG by 2025?

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July 5, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio - It's the heart of the summer driving season, and Ohio drivers are feeling the pinch at the pump. To help ease the pain, many citizens and environmental groups are encouraging the Obama administration to increase the fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks.

A recent poll conducted by The Mellman Group found that more than three-quarters of voters questioned in Ohio support a proposal that would include a 60 mpg fuel economy standard and stronger pollution controls on automobiles.

The director of the Pew Clean Energy Program, Phyllis Cuttino, says the higher standard would reduce air pollution and oil consumption. Fewer trips to the gas station also would result in big cost savings for drivers, she adds.

"Lots of Ohioans are on the road every day, so any time we can get our cars and trucks to go farther on a gallon of gas, that's going to mean consumers are really going to save money."

Cuttino says giving automakers 14 years to hit a 60-mpg standard is certainly doable. She points out that they have risen to fuel-efficiency challenges in the past.

"They have got the technological know-how and the smarts to create cars that can go farther on a tank of gas. We have all confidence that American automakers can meet and exceed this standard."

An Environmental Protection Agency/Department of Transportation analysis found that a 60 mpg standard would save vehicle owners an average of more than $6,000 over the life of a car and save more than 1 billion barrels of oil. The agencies are expected to release a proposed joint rule to elevate fuel efficiency fleet-wide by the end of September.

The poll results are available at http://tinyurl.com/3lx3dfa.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH