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Why Auto Mileage Rules Should Be Relaxed

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Publication Date: April 1985

Publisher(s): Heritage Foundation (Washington, D.C.)

Author(s): Milton R. Copulos

Topic: Energy (Fuels)
Manufacturing and industry (Automotive industry)

Keywords: Economy

Type: Report


In the near-panic following the 1973 Arab oil embargo, Congress passed the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) of 1975. Among the Act's provisions is the requirement that U.S. auto manufacturers meet annual miles per gallon targets set by the Department of Transportation (DOT) beginning in 1985. Termed the "Corporate Average Fuel Economy" standards, or "CAFE," these rules called for the U.S. auto industry to achieve an average fuel economy for all of its cars of 18 miles per gallon (mpg) by 1978, rising to 27.5 mpg in 1985. Failure to meet these standards would result in fines and penalties for the companies.