With ever increasing fuel regulations in the United States, automakers not only have to build cars that meet those strict numbers on a national level, but often times at a state level as well. The Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) does not go far enough for some states, specifically California. As such, some states (again California) are considering to set their own fuel economy rules beginning in 2017.
Meeting those CAFE standards is difficult enough, but not impossible. What will be extremely difficult and expensive for automakers (a cost that would be filtered down to buyers) will be to meet different fuel standards in numerous states. Ford CEO Alan Mulally was recently in D.C. to meet with some House members and the White House Chief of Staff to pressure them to help end this state by state fiasco. He wants the federal government to set a national fuel economy standard that would prevent states from setting their own.
If the idea of a national fuel economy number is agreed upon, then the biggest debate would be what that number should be. We're sure California and, say, Texas are going to have very different answers.