The U.S. Department of Transportation has taken the first step in
changing the federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) rules. One
part of the proposal announced recently by Secretary of Transportation
Norman Mineta calls for blurring the distinction between cars and trucks
that were locked into the first set of CAFE rules back in the 1970s.
The new rules would erase the distinction between cars and set
fuel-economy rules for different weight classes, and could lead to
higher fuel-economy rules for trucks and SUVs. In addition, vehicles
between 8,500 and 10,000, which include the largest SUVs such as the
Hummer H2 and large pickup trucks, would be forced to meet fuel-economy
standards for the first time.