WASHINGTON (CN) - The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation have issued standards to save fuel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions for Model Year 2017 and later light-duty vehicles.
In May 2010, President Barack Obama requested that the EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration develop a national program to address fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions for light-duty vehicles.
The greenhouse gas standards apply to passenger cars, pickup trucks and medium-duty vehicles (i.e. SUVs) with model years between 2017 and 2025.
The government agencies estimate that the program will save 4 billion barrels of oil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2 billion metric tons over the lifetimes of those vehicles.
"The agencies project that fuel savings will far outweigh higher vehicle costs, and that the net benefits to society of the 2017-2025 National Program will be in the range of $326 billion to $451 billion (7 and 3 percent discount rates, respectively) over the lifetimes of those light duty vehicles sold," the final rule said.
Assuming gasoline costs $3.87 per gallon in 2025, the agencies estimate that the new standards will save drivers between $3,000 and $5,000 on gas prices for their vehicles.
The EPA is setting the national CO2 emissions standards and will measure fuel economy, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is setting corporate average fuel economy standards.
"The agencies believe that advances in gasoline engines and transmissions will continue during these model years and that these technologies are likely to play a key role in compliance strategies for the 2017-2025 standards, which is a view that is supported in the literature, among the vehicle manufacturers, suppliers, and by public comments," the rule said.
Read the Top 8
Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.