Fuel economy standards do not increase energy independence. I believe this because as the population grows, the more cars are needed, therefore, car manufacturers have to increase the number of vehicles that they make. Raising the fuel economy standards does not make a difference when you have more and more vehicles on the road.
A 5% increase in fuel efficiency per vehicle does not off-set the exponential numerical value of vehicles being produced, purchased, and driven every day. As population increases world-wide, demands for transportation increases. As demands rise, production rises. If, in a given year, a car manufacturer experiences a 15% increase in sales of two hundred thousand cars, then even though each car is a little more fuel efficient than an earlier model, 5% efficiency in one vehicle doesn’t help much when there’s two vehicles where that one used to be.