Tuesday, April 13, 2010

35.5 MPG by 2016 - New US Milage Standards

U.S. Issues Limits on Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Cars

[via The New York Times]

The federal government took its first formal step to regulate global warming pollution on Thursday by issuing final rules for greenhouse gas emissions for automobiles and light trucks.

The move ends a 30-year battle between regulators and automakers but sets the stage for what may be a bigger fight over climate-altering emissions from stationary sources like power plants, steel mills and refineries.

The new tailpipe rules, jointly written by the Transportation Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, set emissions and mileage standards that would translate to a combined fuel economy average for new vehicles of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016. Most drivers will see lower mileage figures in actual driving.

The rules are expected to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases about 30 percent from 2012 to 2016.

Officials said the program would save the owner of an average 2016 car about $3,000 in fuel over the life of the vehicle and eliminate emissions of nearly a billion tons of greenhouse gases over the lives of all regulated vehicles.

Reaching the new efficiency figure will add about $1,000 to the cost of the average new car by 2016, according to industry and government estimates.

The tailpipe rule reflects a truce between the auto industry and state and federal governments, which have been feuding over emissions and mileage standards since the 1970s. It is the first time the federal Clean Air Act has been applied to carbon dioxide and other global warming pollutants.

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