WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Ray LaHood and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson have announced a national program to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gases. The program will be an interagency program to address climate change and energy security.
The joint proposal will establish a national program consisting of new standards for model year 2012-2016 light-duty vehicles that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve fuel economy. The proposed program is the EPA’s first-ever national greenhouse gas emissions standards under the Clean Air Act, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is proposing Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act.
The standards proposed would apply to passenger cars, light-duty trucks and medium-duty passenger vehicles, covering model years 2012-2016. They require these vehicles to meet an estimated combined average emissions level of 250 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) per mile in model year 2016, equivalent to 35.5 miles per gallon (mpg) if the automotive industry were to meet this CO2 level through fuel economy improvements.
The proposed rules are intended to increase energy security, reduce air pollution, increase fuel savings, offer clarity and predictability for manufacturers and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“American drivers will keep more money in their pockets, put less pollution into the air and help reduce a dependence on oil that sends billions of dollars out of our economy every year,” said Jackson.
“By bringing together a broad coalition of stakeholders including an unprecedented partnership with American automakers we have crafted a path forward that is a win-win for our health, our environment and our economy. Through that partnership, we’ve taken the historic step of proposing the nation’s first-ever greenhouse gas emissions standards for vehicles, and moved substantially closer to an efficient, clean energy future.”
The EPA reports that transportation sources represent a large and growing share of U.S. greenhouse gases, and in 2006 they emitted 28 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gases. Transportation sources were the fastest-growing source of these gases in the United States, accounting for 47 percent of the net increase in total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from 1990-2006.
The national program proposed by the EPA and NHTSA would address the closely intertwined challenges of global warming, energy independence and security through a strong and coordinated federal greenhouse gas and fuel economy program for light-duty vehicles.
The proposed program is projected to reduce U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by 950 million metric tons and save 1.8 billion barrels of oil. Further, the costs of the program are projected to be less than $60 billion, well below the expected benefits, which are expected to exceed $250 billion.
The EPA is also proposing standards that will cap tailpipe nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) emissions at 0.010 and 0.030 grams per mile, respectively. The EPA states that even after adjusting for the higher relative global warming potencies of these two compounds, nitrous oxide and methane emissions represent less than 1 percent of overall vehicle greenhouse gas emissions from new vehicles.
To view the proposal, visit ASA’s Legislative Web site, TakingtheHill.com, or click here.
Source: aftermarketNews staff