Clinton Pushes for Higher Gas Mileage and Plug-in Hybrids

Date: Source – Detroit Free Press

Hillary Clinton

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton put forth her $150 billion plan to address energy and climate issues yesterday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The proposal has its underpinnings in renewable fuel and focuses on the efficiency and emissions of automobiles. Among other things, Clinton is calling for an improvement in the fleet-wide fuel economy standard to the tune of 55 miles per gallon by the year 2030. The current standard of 25 miles per gallon would be pushed up incrementally to 40 miles per gallon in 2020, before reaching its ultimate goal. Other candidates have proposed similarly ambitious goals but none as aggressive as Clinton’s plan.

Though questions of plausibility linger, Clinton has outlined several specific measures to achieve the high benchmarks, including the issuing of $20 billion of “Green Vehicle Bonds” for U.S. automakers to use in retooling their plants with technology that would output more efficient vehicles. Clinton would also grant a $10,000 consumer tax credit as a purchase incentive for plug-in hybrids. She would also allocate $2 billion for investment in battery research and add 100,000 plug-in hybrids to the federal fleet by 2015.

With regard to fuel, Clinton proposes an increase in the production of renewables, including the availability of 60 billion gallons of “home grown” biofuels by 2030. Her long-term goals by 2050 are to reduce greenhouse gas levels to 80 percent below what they were in 1990. "This is the biggest challenge we’ve faced in a generation…" she said. "It’s time for America to meet it."

Clinton’s targets are far higher than the highest levels Detroit automakers have said they would accept—roughly 32 to 35 mpg. by 2022.


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