AUTOMOBILES: Muzzling the Gas Guzzler

Muzzling the Gas Guzzler

Those big cars -- and their thirsty engines -- that Americans have once again come to love blew a tire last week, when the Bush Administration approved tougher fuel-efficiency standards for all automobiles sold in the U.S. As of 1990, all cars produced by each auto company must average 27.5 m.p.g. of gas or the manufacturer will face stiff penalties. The Reagan Administration had relaxed the standard -- first established in the oil-shocked '70s -- to 26.5 m.p.g. for model-year 1989. But Transportation Secretary Samuel Skinner cited "economic security" in resisting Detroit's plea to maintain 26.5 m.p.g. for a longer period....

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