The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation unveiled their new CAFE standards yesterday, which require an impressive 54.5 mile-per-gallon average for light duty vehicles by the year 2025. The new rules build on the recent requirement of 35 mpg by 2016 and are designed to help further wean the U.S. off foreign oil, save consumers money at the pump, and reduce vehicle emissions. Is it possible? And just how much good will it do the average consumer?

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According to the report released by the EPA and DOT, these new measures will save Americans $1.7 trillion in gasoline by 2025, which is more than $8,000 per vehicle. The increased fuel efficiency requirements also are supposed to reduce Americans’ dependence on foreign oil by 12 billion barrels and by 2025 reduce consumption by 2.2 million barrels a day, which is equal to one quarter of current foreign oil imports. The new standards will also cut 6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the period of 2017-2025. “These unprecedented standards are a remarkable leap forward in improving fuel efficiency, strengthening national security by reducing our dependence on oil, and protecting our climate for generations to come. We expect this program will not only save consumers money, it will ensure automakers have the regulatory certainty they need to make key decisions that create jobs and invest in the future,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

The public has been invited to comment on this proposal for 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register, and the EPA and DOT will be hosting public hearings around the country to receive further input. What do you think of these new regulations? Will they move the country forward to a sustainable future or push us back to the 1970s when the first CAFE regulations caused automakers to build cars no one wanted? Let us know your take on the new CAFE standards in comments.