Administration to Unveil New Fuel Economy Rules
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson planned to release the proposed regulations Tuesday. They call for the auto industry's fleet of new vehicles to average 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016. The plan follows up on President Barack Obama's announcement in May that the government regulations would link emissions and fuel economy standards.
The Obama administration estimated earlier this year the requirements would cost up to $1,300 per new vehicle by 2016 but take just three years to pay off the investment and save about $2,800 over the life of the vehicle through better gas mileage.
During a visit to a General Motors plant in Lordstown, Ohio, Obama said the new standards are overdue.
"This action will give our auto companies some long-overdue clarity, stability and predictability," he said.
The proposal will cover vehicle model years 2012 through 2016 and allow auto companies to comply with all federal requirements as well as standards pushed by California and about a dozen other states.
A congressional official briefed on the details said the proposal was expected to increase vehicle fuel efficiency by about 5 percent annually, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 950 million metric tons and save an average car buyer more than $3,000 in fuel costs. The plan would also conserve 1.8 billion barrels of oil, according to the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly in advance of the White House announcement.
The administration was expected to note that the proposal's plan to reach 35.5 mpg by the 2016 model year would put it four years ahead of a 2007 law approved by Congress that would have required the auto industry to meet a 35 mpg average in 2020.