Auto Industry to Get Major Tune-Up

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WASHINGTION - The White House wants all new cars and trucks to go farther per gallon of gas while polluting less.

Everyone from evironmentalists to the automakers appear to be on board. But the changes will come at a cost.

Even as car sales fall - and Detroit ditches thousands of hometown dealers - the automakers are preparing for a makeover, one that both cuts emissions and increases mileage standards at the same time.

Click play for John Jessup's report, followed by analysis from Steve Milloy of JunkScience.com.

"This decision means that we will guzzle less gas, save money at the pump, pollute a lot less. And that the automakers in the United States will be forced to finally compete with the Japanese manufacturers," said Dan Becker with the Safe Climate Campaign.

President Obama will unveil the first ever national standard limiting greenhouse gasses at the White House - alongside the industry's top brass and leaders who are often on opposing sides.

"You'll see people that normally are at odds with each other in agreement with each other," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

The plan would put new fuel economy standards in the fast lane, requiring an average of 35.5 miles a gallon by 2016 -- four years earlier than previously planned.

And new vehicles coming off the assembly line would be about 30 percent cleaner.

The White House says the standards would not only reduce pollution but save about 1.8 billion barrels of oil through 2016 - roughly the equivalent of taking 177 million cars off the road.

It would also end some of the confusion between different state regulations.

"If you take a look at the marketplace today, we have different fuel economy and environmental standards in California versus the federal government, and if you're a car company, that makes it hugely complicated," said Jeremy Anwyl with Edmonds.com, a Web site that provides car reviews.

Critics see this as more government intrusion.

"U.S. automakers used to be U.S. automakers. Now, they really are because they're owned, in part, by the government. So the government can tell them pretty much what they want to produce," said Patrick Michaels with the Cato Institute.

The changes come with a cost.

These new requirements, along with others Congress already approved, will cost consumers an extra $1,300 per car. The changes still must get the green light from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department and would begin in 2012.

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John Jessup serves as the main news anchor for CBN, a position he assumed after 10 years reporting for the network in Washington, D.C. His work in broadcast news has earned him several awards in reporting, producing, and coordinating elections coverage. Follow John on Twitter @JohnCBNNews and "like" him at Facebook.com/John.V.Jessup.