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U.S. EPA proposes to leave fuel economy standards in place for 2022-2025 vehicle model years

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy said that extensive technical analysis conducted by the agency shows that automakers are well positioned to meet greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for model years 2022-2025 and has proposed leaving the standards in place, so the program that was established in 2012 will stay on track to nearly double vehicle fuel economy.

“Given the auto industry’s importance to American jobs and communities and the industry’s need for certainty well into the future, EPA has reanalysed these clean car standards and sought further input,” said McCarthy.

“It’s clear from the extensive technical record that this program will remain affordable and effective. This proposed decision reconfirms our confidence in the auto industry’s capacity to drive innovation and strengthen the American economy while saving drivers money at the pump and safeguarding our health, climate and environment.”

Full implementation of the standards will reduce about six billion metric tons of GHG emissions over the lifetimes of the vehicles sold in model years 2012-2025, the EPA said. Cars and light trucks are the largest source of GHG emissions in the U.S. transportation sector.

Although EPA’s technical analysis indicates that the standards could be strengthened for model years 2022-2025, proposing to leave the current standards in place provides greater certainty to the auto industry for product planning and engineering, McCarthy said. This will enable long-term planning in the auto industry, while also benefiting consumers and the environment, she added.

At the end of 2015, all large automakers were in compliance with the standards. In fact, automakers on average outperformed the model year 2015 standards by seven grams per mile. These gains are happening at a time when the car industry is thriving, and domestic vehicle sales have increased for six consecutive years, while maintaining consumer choice across a full range of vehicle sizes and types, the EPA said.

As part of the rulemaking establishing the model year 2017-2025 light-duty vehicle GHG standards, EPA committed to conduct a Midterm Evaluation of standards for model years 2022-2025.

The public comment period for this action will end on December 30, 2016. After the comment period has ended and consideration of the input, the EPA administrator will decide whether she has enough information to make a final determination on the model year 2022- 2025 standards.