EPA, DOT Set Standards for Light-Vehicle Fuel Economy

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) have formally unveiled the second stage of their rulemaking to set higher fuel economy and greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution standards for passenger cars and light trucks.

EPA and DOT announced yesterday that their newest joint rule—for model year 2017-25 vehicles-- will save Americans over $1.7 trillion at the pump or nearly $8,000 per vehicle by 2025.

The new second-stage standards will also reduce America’s dependence on oil by an estimated 12 billion barrels and, by 2025, reduce oil consumption by 2.2 million barrels per day – enough to offset almost a quarter of the current level of foreign oil imports. Taken together, these actions will also cut 6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the life of the programs, said the agencies.

According to the two agencies, the proposed rule for model year 2017-2025 passenger cars and light trucks is “expected to require increases in fuel efficiency equivalent to 54.5 mpg if all reductions were made through fuel economy improvements. These improvements would save consumers an average of up to $6,600 in fuel costs over the lifetime of a model year 2025 vehicle for a net lifetime savings of $4,400 after factoring in related increases in vehicle cost. Overall, the net benefit to society from this rule would total more than $420 billion over the lifetime of the vehicles sold in model year 2017-2025.”

This latest regulatory proposal builds on the first phase (2012-2016) of the Obama Administration’s MPG/GHG program, which it said will raise fuel efficiency equivalent to 35.5 mpg by 2016 and result in an average light-vehicle tailpipe CO2 level of 250 grams per mile.

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