Light Duty Fuel Economy
Growing uneasiness about U.S. oil dependence means interest is high once again in energy legislation and petroleum legislation in particular. Upward fuel price trends of recent months, reflecting both turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, plus the gradual recovery of the global economy, have prompted calls for decisive action by policymakers. At such a time, it is important to be clear on the range of policy options available to address the problem and how effective these policies might be.
UPDATED: February 16, 2011 — Due to a mistaken vehicle emissions specification, our Greenest List inadvertently omitted the Mazda 2 (manual transmission), which beats the Chevrolet Volt by a hair. Both vehicles have Green Scores of 48. Hence this year’s Greenest List now features 13 vehicles, instead of the customary dozen. We regret the error.
Washington, D.C. – Making good on a commitment made by President Obama in May, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation today announced progress in developing standards that will dramatically reduce the fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks in model years 2017 to 2025. The announcement follows the adoption earlier this year of standards boosting average fuel economy to 34.1 miles per gallon by 2016.
EPA and DOT recently proposed rules to implement the Obama Administration’s May announcement that federal standards for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles would be set to “harmonize” with California’s groundbreaking greenhouse gas standards by 2016. The proposal is worth celebrating, not only because it will deliver by far the biggest vehicle efficiency improvements in decades, but also because the introduction of EPA into the process makes it more likely that the standards will accelerate the development of efficiency technologies in the future.