From: Nick Chambers, Matter Network, More from this Affiliate
Published September 17, 2009 06:49 AM

White House Unveils Landmark Fuel Economy and Emissions Standards

Today the Obama Administration released a 1,200 page document of proposed regulation changes that will drastically alter the fuel economy and emissions standards that auto manufacturers are required to meet in the US. Although it could be an incredibly contentious topic, it seems that so far the proposal has gained wide support from all sides of the spectrum including environmental organizations and industry lobby groups.

The changes — which would alter both the Department of Transportation’s and the Environmental Protection Agency's rules — call for what amounts to about a 5% increase in fuel economy standards per year from 2011 to 2016 starting with 27.3 mpg in 2011 and ending with 35.5 mpg in 2016.


In addition to the new economy standards, the White House has outlined the first ever greenhouse gas emissions limits for new cars sold in the US. Starting with model year 2016, each manufacturer’s new car fleet would have to meet an average limit of 250 grams of carbon emitted per mile driven.

The administration said that altogether the new rules would save the average car buyer $3,000 in fuel costs over the life of a vehicle, reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by about 950 million metric tons tons, and reduce the US’ dependence on foreign oil by about 1.8 billion barrels.

Environmental organizations quickly got in on dousing praise on the proposal. The Natural Resources Defense Council called the new rules "unprecedented" and the Sierra Club’s Ann Mesnikoff said "Taking fuel economy out of the 1970s and into the 21st century is a big step."

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