The new standards will save 4 billion barrels of oil and 2 billion metric tons of greenhouse-gas emissions.
There's nothing really new about the federal fuel economy standards that were finalized Tuesday -- they were announced more than a year ago and have changed little since --- but now that we're on the verge of a presidential election, they're generating more political heat.
"Gov. Romney opposes the extreme standards that President Obama has imposed, " said Mitt Romney's campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul.
Over the lifetime of the vehicles sold between 2017 and 2025, the new standards will save 4 billion barrels of oil and 2 billion metric tons of greenhouse-gas emissions, with a net benefit to society of up to $421 billion, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
That's the biggest blow the nation has ever struck against climate change, and one of its most significant in reducing reliance on foreign oil. If Republicans don't like that, their energy strategy might need a little work.