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President Obama ups fuel mileage to 54.5 mpg by 2025

People pump gasoline at a Shell station on

People pump gasoline at a Shell station on the east side of Manhattan (Credit: People pump gasoline at a Shell station on the east side of Manhattan (Getty Images))

After much anticipation by environmental and transportation advocates, President Barack Obama Tuesday finalized new regulations mandating higher fuel economy standards in cars and small trucks by model year 2025.

The program requires an increase in fuel efficiency to the equivalent of 54.5 miles per gallon, doubling the gas mileage of new cars on the road today.

The move is expected to save customers more than $1.7 trillion at the pump and reduce U.S. oil consumption by 12 billion barrels, according to Obama's office.

The standards, issued by the federal Transportation Department, along with the Environmental Protection Agency, build on the Obama administration's previous mandate to increase fuel efficiency to 35.5 mpg by 2016.

The regulations will pressure auto companies to continue to explore alternative technologies, such as electric, plug-in and natural gas-fueled vehicles.

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