WASHINGTON (Sept. 15, 2009)—The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today unveiled a joint proposal for vehicle model years 2012 through 2016, designed to increase vehicle fuel economy 5 percent annually while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 950 million metric tons.
The preliminary standard, which will be published shortly in the Federal Register, is designed to allow auto makers to build a single, light-duty national vehicle fleet that will meet all federal fuel economy and greenhouse gas reduction requirements as well as California and other state standards, NHTSA and EPA said.
The proposed rule will create the first-ever national emissions standards for corporate vehicle fleets under EPA's greenhouse gas program. It also will mandate a Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard of 35.5 mpg by 2016, surpassing the 2007 standard set by Congress of 35 mpg by 2020.
NHTSA and EPA estimate the standard would conserve 1.6 billion barrels of oil and save the average motorist more than $3,000 in fuel costs. “The increases in fuel economy and the reductions in greenhouse gases we are proposing today would bring about a new era in automotive history,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Interested parties will have 60 days after Federal Register publication to comment on the proposed rule to either NHTSA or EPA. They also will have 45 days to comment to NHTSA on the agency's Draft Environmental Impact Statement, which compares the environmental impact of the proposal compared with various alternatives.