A panel appointed by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences has drafted a report recommending that the U.S. require automakers to improve the fuel economy of new vehicles. The 13-member panel, made up mostly of engineers and consultants who have worked for auto and oil companies, contends that fuel economy for cars and SUVs could be raised by as much as eight to 11 miles per gallon over the next six to 10 years without hurting consumers financially, if savings on gasoline were counted. In the past, President Bush has said his decision about whether to raise fuel-economy standards will be guided by the panel’s findings.