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White House, carmakers talk mpg goals

WASHINGTON, July 27 (UPI) -- The Obama administration and U.S. carmakers are near an agreement on fuel efficiency standards to take effect in 2925, sources close to the talks said.

Citing sources who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to do so publicly, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday the White House is nearing compromise with automakers on standards for cars and trucks that will require vehicle fleets to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

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The White House had been pushing for a 56.2 mpg average, and the compromise suggests the administration and the carmakers have resolved the most significant sticking point, a fuel efficiency goal for light trucks -- a classification that also includes sport utility vehicles, minivans and full-size pickups, the country's best-selling vehicles.

The U.S. auto fleet, currently averaging about 27.8 mpg, has been mandated to achieve 34.1 mpg by 2016.

The proposed 2025 standard is higher than many automakers want, but they have been willing to work with the administration, industry officials said.

"Automakers are continuing to press for fuel economy increases that don't jeopardize vehicle choice or jobs," said Gloria Bergquist, vice president for communications at the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the industry's main lobbyist. "We believe the White House hears us."

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