Would higher mileage standards really save you money?
We asked Majority Action how they got to that number. Here's their chain of logic and a quick double-checking of the figures:
* The same report (page 60) found that the average miles-per-gallon of vehicles in U.S. households was 20.2 mpg.
* Gas is currently about $4 a gallon, so the average U.S. vehicle-owning household is spending $4,668 a year on gas. (12,408 miles times 1.9 vehicles divided by 20.2 miles per gallon times $4 a gallon.)
* If the average fuel efficiency were 32 miles per gallon — the figure mandated by the failed 2003 amendment — those same households would be spending $2,947 a year on gas. (12,408 times 1.9 divided by 32 times $4.)
That adds up to a savings of $1,721. (The number is slightly higher because Majority Action used 1.8 vehicles per household instead of 1.9.) Still, there are a few caveats to that number.
We'll look at them next.