Dingell: New fuel standards work as long as they're national

A key Michigan Democrat expressed openness to new fuel-efficiency standards announced by the Obama administration on Friday, as long as they're national standards.

Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), a veteran lawmaker who had long used his perch atop the House Energy and Commerce Committee to temper increased fuel-efficiency standards, said that automakers would be able to come to terms with the administration's new standards if they're applied evenly across the states.

"The critical part is that we have certainty, and seeing to it that we have nationwide standards," Dingell said during an appearance on MSNBC. "If we have those two things, there's a wide area of reason that can be met."

President Barack Obama on Friday laid out his administration's new standards for automakers after the year 2016, which were negotiated with the cooperation of the auto industry.

Automakers have long fought against the efforts by individual states, particularly California, to set higher fuel standards. Because of the size of California's auto market, individual standards in that state can force the companies to adapt or face penalties.

"We're hoping that they will be standards with which we can work and which will, quite frankly, not hurt jobs and opportunity," Dingell said of the coming standards.

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