Octane and fuel efficiency, explained in one video

When it comes to understanding complex regulations, there’s no better source than the experts on Fuel Freedom Foundation’s policy team. We sat down with President and CEO Joe Cannon, and Vice President of Policy and the Environment Robin Vercruse, to ask them to tell us more about the CAFE standards, why they’re important, and how they can benefit consumers. Video and transcript below:

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Entrepreneur Jigar Shah: ‘We need fuel choice’

Clean-energy entrepreneur Jigar Shah makes a case for investing in technology that will help the United States end its dependence on foreign oil, instead of just talking about it.

In a post for, he laments the lost opportunities: The U.S. has reduced its oil imports by 15 percent over the last two years as the country has ramped up its own oil production. But we “still imported an average 7.4 million barrels of crude oil per day during the first nine months of 2014—at a cost of more than $240 billion.”

Increasing fuel-economy standards in vehicles has gotten us only partway toward oil independence (he notes that as miles-per-gallon have vastly increased since the 1970s, so too has the weight of the cars Americans increasingly prefer: the large SUVs). He adds:

The predicted increase in oil drilling in the U.S. and Canada will get us even closer. But no matter how we slice the data, we will still depend on imported oil. Domestic drilling and fuel standards are not enough—we need fuel choice.

Shah writes that replacement fuels like methanol, hydrogen, electricity and other renewables are cheaper than gasoline or diesel.

However, the Government has not systematically put a plan in place to give American’s access to these fuels at local refueling stations. In fact, the Government regulations in place today make it difficult to add these fuel choices.

In addition to alternative fuels, vehicle efficiency technologies offer another off-ramp towards oil independence. With only one out of every seven gallons of gas being used to move the car forward, it is time to stop waging war in the Middle East and start the war against vehicle inefficiency.

He lists some interesting innovations for increasing fuel efficiency. Check them out.

Auto-makers put on notice over inflated mileage

Will U.S. auto-makers pay more attention to the claims they make about the mileage drivers can get from their cars?

Greater scrutiny is expected now that South Korean manufacturers Hyundai and Kia have been ordered to pay a total of $100 million in fines, and $250 million in other penalties, for overstating the miles-per-gallon claims on 1.2 million vehicles.

The settlement, announced Monday by the EPA, was praised by environmental groups.

“Consumers deserve accurate information on emissions and fuel economy when they go to the showroom,” Luke Tonachel, a senior vehicles analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told The Los Angeles Times.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy declined to comment on whether other auto companies, like Ford, BMW and Mercedes-Benz — all of which have restated their own fuel-economy claims — would face any punishment.

According to The Detroit News:

“This is by far the most egregious case,” McCarthy told reporters, referring to Hyundai and Kia. She said the “discrepancies” by other automakers were “not as systemic.” She called testing by the Korean automakers “systemically flawed” and not in line with “normal engineering practices and inconsistent with how any other automaker has been doing this.”

As Bloomberg notes, vehicle owners curious about whether they can collect money can visit and

The L.A. Times says EPA investigators learned that Hyundai and Kia, corporate siblings who are South Korea’s two largest auto-makers, “chose favorable results rather than average results from a large number of tests that go into the certification of the fuel economy ratings.” The companies blamed the inflated results on “procedural errors.”

Christopher Grundler, director of the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, said: “I am quite certain that automakers will be paying attention to this announcement. They don’t want to find themselves in this same situation.”