Highlight of the Week: White House Details New Automotive Emissions Standards

The Obama administration detailed new motor vehicle guidelines that would mandate improved fuel economy and institute the nation's first-ever automotive emissions standards.

"The Environmental Protection Agency has taken an important and overdue step to clean up tailpipe pollution. The effort will jump-start the modernization and retooling of our auto industry, protect our environment, and reduce our reliance on oil," said Joe Mendelson, director of Global Warming Policy, National Wildlife Federation.

"Now, America needs an equally ambitious plan to expand the clean energy economy and clean up smokestacks from corporate polluters. The Senate must act this fall to pass comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation that includes a cap on global warming pollution."

The standards, product of a joint effort by the U.S. EPA and Transportation Department, would increase corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016 and mandate a carbon emissions limit of 250 grams per mile per vehicle.

"This marks a significant advance in our effort to protect health and the environment," said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.

Jackson added that the regulations would save 1.8 billion gallons of oil between 2012 and 2016, and prevent greenhouse gas discharge equivalent to the output of 42 million car–or, according to the White House, some 950 million metric tons of carbon.

Published: September 24, 2009