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Environment

First CO2-Based Fuel Standard Proposed

by Jeff Johnson
September 21, 2009 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 87, ISSUE 38

The Obama Administration has proposed the first regulations for vehicles based on their carbon dioxide emissions. The 1,200-page regulation under the Clean Air Act comes in response to a 2007 Supreme Court case that gave EPA such authority. The proposal establishes carbon emission limits that by 2016 would require gasoline-fueled light-duty vehicles to average 35.5 mpg, 40% higher than today. President Barack Obama made the announcement last week at General Motors' Lordstown Assembly Plant in Ohio, where he tied the proposed standard to his push for a clean energy economy and green jobs. He noted that the plant had just produced its millionth Chevy Cobalt, a 37-mpg car, and next year will begin producing the Chevy Cruze, a new 40-mpg vehicle. The standard, he said, provides stability to automakers and ends conflicts between national and state fuel efficiency requirements, allowing automakers to "retool and reinvent themselves for the 21st century."

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