EPA sets new emissions guidelines

The Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency today established new federal rules that set the first-ever national greenhouse gas emissions standards and will significantly increase the fuel economy of all new passenger cars and

The Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday new federal rules that set greenhouse gas emissions standards and will significantly increase the fuel economy of all new passenger cars and light trucks sold in the United States.

The new guidelines will affect 2012 model vehicles and will require manufacturers to achieve a fleet average of 35.5 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving. This could potentially save the average buyer of a 2016 model-year car $3,000 over the life of the vehicle and. Nationally, these changes will conserve about 1.8 billion barrels of oil and reduce nearly a billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the lives of the vehicles covered, the EPA said in a press release.

With new stringent tailpipe standards, the goal is a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by about 960 million metric tons over the lifetime of the vehicles regulated, which is equivalent to taking 50 million cars and light trucks off the road in 2030.

"This is a significant step towards cleaner air and energy efficiency, and an important example of how our economic and environmental priorities go hand-in-hand," EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said in a press release. "By working together with industry and capitalizing on our capacity for innovation, we've developed a clean cars program that is a win for automakers and drivers, a win for innovators and entrepreneurs, and a win for our planet."

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