Washington, D.C. — Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation proposed the first-ever fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses. The affected vehicles, ranging from large pickup trucks to big rigs, today consume about 2.5 million barrels of oil per day, one-fifth of total transportation oil use in the U.S.
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.
On April 1st, USDOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the EPA issued harmonized fuel economy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for cars and light trucks of model years 2012 through 2016. The joint rulemaking marks the first major increase in fuel economy standards in three decades, and the first national GHG standards for vehicles.
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.
In March 2009, President Obama pledged to have 1 million plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) on the road by 2015. While the penetration of electric drive vehicles in the American automobile market could significantly reduce petroleum use, vehicle emissions, and fuel expenditures countrywide, there are several challenges to implementing the President’s 2015 goal.
The Obama Administration announced a key decision to bring national vehicle standards for fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions up to levels adopted in California, resolving a longstanding battle between the auto industry and state regulators. While the standards represent a quicker pace of improvement than the target of 35 miles per gallon by 2020 set in EISA 2007, auto manufacturers supported the move, saying that it provides the level of certainty and uniformity the industry needs.