Proposed Rulemaking Announced for CAFE Standards and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

January 8, 2010

U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Ray LaHood and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson today jointly proposed a rule establishing a national program that would improve vehicle fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gases (GHG). The proposed program would conserve billions of barrels of oil, save consumers money at the pump, increase fuel economy, and reduce millions of tons of GHG emissions.

Under the proposed program, which covers model years 2012 through 2016, automobile manufacturers would be able to build a single, light-duty national fleet that satisfies all federal requirements as well as the standards of California and other states. The proposed program includes miles per gallon requirements under NHTSA's Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards (CAFE) program and the first-ever national emissions standards under EPA's greenhouse gas program. The collaboration of federal agencies for this proposal also allows for clearer rules for all automakers, instead of three standards (DOT, EPA, and a state standard). </p><p>Specifically, the program would increase fuel economy by approximately 5% every year; reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 950 million metric tons; save the average car buyer more than $3,000 in fuel costs over the life of the vehicle; and conserve 1.8 billion barrels of oil.

"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," Jackson said. "By bringing together a broad coalition of stakeholders--including an unprecedented partnership with American automakers--we have crafted a path forward that is 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 increases in fuel economy and the reductions in greenhouse gases we are proposing today would bring about a new era in automotive history," LaHood said. "These proposed standards would help consumers save money at the gas pump, help the environment, and decrease our dependence on oil--all while ensuring that consumers still have a full range of vehicle choices."

NHTSA and EPA are providing a 60-day comment period that begins with publication of the proposal in the Federal Register. The proposal and information about how to submit comments are at: EPA regulations and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.