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Fuel Standard Raised

by Glenn Hess
September 3, 2012 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 90, Issue 36

The Obama Administration issued new rules last week that will require automakers to nearly double the current average fuel economy of new passenger vehicles to 54.5 mpg by 2025. The new gasoline mileage requirements build on a 2009 deal between the Administration and auto­makers that requires cars and light-duty trucks to average 35.5 mpg by 2016. The average fuel economy for 2011 was 28.6 mpg. The latest standards include incentives for the production of a variety of alternative-fuel vehicles, including electric, hybrid, natural gas, and fuel-cell cars. “Simply put, this groundbreaking program will result in vehicles that use less gas, travel farther, and provide more efficiency for consumers than ever before—all while protecting the air we breathe and giving automakers the regulatory certainty to build the cars of the future here in America,” says Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The Administration says the new standards will cut greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light-duty trucks in half by 2025, reducing emissions by 6 billion metric tons over the life of the program—more than the total amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the U.S. in 2010.


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