In keeping with President Obama’s vision to reduce greenhouse gases and increase fuel efficiency, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), announced in a recent press release that they will begin the process of developing tougher greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards for passenger cars and trucks built in model years 2017 through 2025. This will build on the success of the first phase of the national program covering cars from model years 2012-2016.
The program is a key part of the administration’s energy and climate security goals, which call for the increased domestic production and use of existing, advanced, and emerging technologies to strengthen the auto industry and enhance job creation in the United States. Continuing the national program will help make it possible for manufacturers to build a single national fleet of cars and light trucks that satisfies all federal and California standards, while ensuring that consumers have a full range of vehicle choices.
“Continuing the successful clean cars program will accelerate the environmental benefits, health protections and clean technology advances over the long-term. In addition to protecting our air and cutting fuel consumption, a clear path forward will give American automakers the certainty they need to make the right investments and promote innovations,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “We will continue to work with automakers, environmentalists and other stakeholders to encourage standards that reduce our addiction to foreign oil, save money for American drivers, and clean up the air we breathe.”
“We must, and we will, keep the momentum going to make sure that all motor vehicles sold in America are realizing the best fuel economy and greenhouse gas reductions possible,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Continuing the national program would help create a more secure energy future by reducing the nation’s dependence on oil, which has been a national objective since the first oil price shocks in the 1970s.”
In a May 21, 2010 memorandum, President Obama directed EPA and DOT issue a Notice of Intent (NOI) that would lay out a coordinated plan, to propose regulations to extend the national program and to coordinate with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in developing a technical assessment to inform the NOI and subsequent rulemaking process.
Consistent with the presidential memorandum, the NOI includes an initial assessment for a potential national program for the 2025 model year and outlines next steps for additional work the agencies will undertake. Next steps include issuing a supplemental NOI that would include an updated analysis of possible future standards by November 30, 2010. As part of that process, the agencies will conduct additional study and meet with stakeholders to better determine what level of standards might be appropriate. The agencies aim to propose actual standards within a year.
The national program is intended to save consumers money by cutting down on fuel costs, improve our nation’s energy security by reducing dependence on petroleum, and protect the environment by reducing greenhouse gas pollution that leads to climate change. Climate change is the single greatest long-term global environmental challenge. Cars, SUVs, minivans, and pickup trucks are responsible for 57 percent of U.S. transportation petroleum use and almost 60 percent of all transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions.
The results of the interim technical assessment are summarized in the NOI and presented in a separate document, which NHTSA, EPA and CARB are also jointly releasing today. To achieve further annual greenhouse gas reductions, the automotive industry could choose from a variety of advanced technologies.
The assessment also considers the costs and effectiveness of applicable technologies, compliance flexibilities available to manufacturers, potential impacts on auto industry jobs, and the infrastructure needed to support advanced technology vehicles. This assessment was developed through extensive dialogue with automobile manufacturers and suppliers, non-governmental organizations, state and local governments, and labor unions.
More information on the NOI, the technical assessment, and submitting
comments: http://www.nhtsa.gov/fuel-economy and http://www.epa.gov/otaq/climate/regulations.htm