It's impressive that automobile manufacturers, both foreign and domestic, are supporting a significant increase in fuel-efficiency standards, after years of fighting higher standards. In the case of GM and Chrysler, though, that may be because they have no choice.
Requiring an average of 35.5 miles per gallon should have a dramatic impact on the environment and our fossil-fuel dependency, saving an estimated 1.8 billion barrels of oil through 2016. But it remains to be seen whether automakers will be able to achieve this standard and do so profitably, given that many American consumers prefer bigger cars. A Wall Street Journal editorial noted: "All that's left to arrive at the president's new destination for the American way of driving are huge, unanswered questions about technology, financing and the marketability of cars that will be small and expensive."