Originally Posted by wakeride74
Vehicle makers already improve MPG as they progress but it is not and should not be mandated....
It's been this way since the first 70's oil shock. The reason why vehicles have been getting more efficient over the years is largely due to the CAFE regulations, not because manufacturers naturally want to make more efficient vehicles. Innovation is expensive, and it's easier to just keep selling yesterday's old technology than design and produce something new. The whole reason SUVs get such poor gas mileage to begin with is because of a loophole in the CAFE regulations which exempts them from all but the most basic standards.
Without regulations like this, it is much more difficult for vehicle manufacturers to sell vehicles with fuel-efficient technologies here, because it would mean they'd have to stick their neck out and risk doing something their competitors aren't. (e.g. Even Toyota's most fuel-efficient conventional vehicle sold in the US, the Echo, lacks the "engine stop when not moving" feature that the Japanese version has.) Fuel efficiency regulations create a level playing field that every manufacturer has to adhere to.
Even though vehicle manufacturers (particularly GM and Ford) have been fighting rises in CAFE tooth and nail over the years, those regulations have helped to improve national security by reducing the US' dependence on foreign oil. The US would be in a much worse strategic situation without them.