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Obama proposes first regulation of auto emissions

Posted Tuesday, May 19, 2009, 2:05 pm in Employee News

President Barack Obama proposed on Tuesday the first U.S. regulation of auto emissions in a bid to reduce climate-warming greenhouse gasses and lower dependence on foreign oil, Reuters and other media are reporting.

The initiative is centered around the strictest plan ever for increasing fuel standards for passenger vehicles, sharply raising pressure on struggling automakers to make more efficient cars and trucks, Reuters said.

Obama said at the White House the plan would give carmakers new certainty about federal regulatory policy and permit them to better plan for the future as struggling domestic companies restructure, the news service reported.

The proposal would require the U.S. passenger vehicle fleet to average 35.5 miles per gallon (6.6 litres/100km) by 2016, saving 1.8 billion barrels of oil. It would also instruct the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate tailpipe emissions for the first time, the story said. (Reuters)

Summary of Obama auto efficiency plan
According to Reuters, the impact of the Obama plan would:

* Require yearly 5 percent increases in fuel efficiency from 2012 through 2016, resulting in an average fuel economy standard of 35.5 miles per gallon in 2016.

* Cut oil consumption by an estimated 1.8 billion barrels over the life of the program.

* Cut greenhouse gas emissions by a projected 900 million metric tons.

* Support by 10 car companies and the United Auto Workers union.

* Set one clear, national policy for all automakers, instead of standards from the Transportation Department, Environmental Protection Agency, and a California standard that would apply to 13 other states.

* Give automakers clarity, predictability and certainty about the rules, as well as flexibility to meet the expected outcomes. (Reuters)
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