Just in time for the New York Auto Show, the U.S. government has announced the first ever greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and light trucks! As a result of the rules set by the EPA and the Department of Transportation, vehicles will be required to meet an estimated combined average emissions level of 250 grams of carbon dioxide per mile (approximately 35.5 miles per gallon) by 2016.

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The regulations will have big environmental benefits. Namely, they will slash almost a billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles covered by the rules. And while the regulations will add $1,000 to the average cost of a new car by 2016, drivers will ultimately save $3,000 in fuel costs over the vehicle‘s lifespan. Overall, the program will reap $240 billion in benefits, which include pollution cuts, reductions in oil imports, and gas savings.

This is big news by any measure, but there’s a catch–the regulations end in 2016. Here’s hoping the government gets going on even more stringent standards for the coming years.


Via New York Times