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September 15, 2009

EPA and DOT announce new fuel economy, greenhouse gas plan: CO2 emissions take center stage over MPG

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Back in May, the Obama Administration raised the national CAFE standard to 35.5 mpg (for cars and trucks) by 2016. The higher standard would build from the 27.3 mpg 2011 standard and go up five percent each year until 2016. Today, the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation issued a joint statement proposing just how the two agencies will work together to reach the higher standard required for model year 2012-2016 vehicles.

The 35.5 mpg number from the CAFE regulations can be reached, the DOT and EPA say, if all MY 2016 vehicles have “an estimated combined average emission level of 250 grams of carbon dioxide per mile” (to compare, that would be 155 g/km using the European g/km measurement) and that target is met by improving fuel economy. We can’t help but think that a focus on CO2 instead of mpg is needed in light of new claims that cars can get 230 mpg.

The two agencies say that the new standard will save 1.8 billion barrels of oil, reduce greenhouse gases by 950 metric tons and save “the average car buyer” over $3,000 in fuel costs. The main point, though, is that everyone involved has agreed to combine the CAFE standards and EPA’s greenhouse gas emissions standards into one, making it clear what automakers have to do to sell cars in any state in the Union.

Considering the long fight that the Auto Alliance had with California and other states that wanted to adopt more stringent rules than the Bush-era EPA was willing to declare, the EPA and DOT’s proposal appeals to Alliance president Dave McCurdy. “Final rules are essential to providing manufacturers with the certainty and lead time necessary to plan for the future and cost effectively add new technology,” he said. “We look forward to working constructively with the Obama administration to provide comments and begin meeting our shared goals of increasing fuel economy, enhancing energy security, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through this single national program.” Press releases are after the jump, as is information on how to comment on the EPA and DOT’s proposed rule over the next 60 days.

[Source: EPA/DOT, Auto Alliance]

Continue reading EPA and DOT announce new fuel economy, greenhouse gas plan: CO2 emissions take center stage over MPG

EPA and DOT announce new fuel economy, greenhouse gas plan: CO2 emissions take center stage over MPG originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Tue, 15 Sep 2009 14:56:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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