New Fuel Economy Standards
The feds finalized new fuel efficiency rules today for cars and light trucks. This is the first time greenhouse-gas emissions, which are blamed for global warming, have been regulated.
The announcement is part of a broader pledge by President Barack Obama to shift the US economy towards cleaner forms of energy and curb climate change, though efforts to achieve comprehensive reforms have so far flopped in Congress.
By model year 2016, vehicles must get an average of 35.5 miles per gallon. The requirements will add as much as $985 to a vehicle's initial cost, according to EPA estimates, but buyers will save about $4,000 on fuel over the life of the car, administration officials said in Washington Post report.
The new standards will be introduced gradually, starting in 2012.
Obama began this crusade back in May of last year first directed in an effort to curb pollution from vehicles, which account for about one quarter of all climate-damaging emissions from the US.
The new rules were applauded.
General Motors Co in a statement said in reports, "While these requirements are very challenging, we feel confident that GM will be able to achieve the mandated fleet fuel economy targets."
"These historic new standards set ambitious but achievable fuel economy requirements for the automotive industry that will also encourage new and emerging technologies," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told the Washington Post. "We will be helping American motorists save money at the pump while putting less pollution in the air."