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Obama: Your Car Will Have to Do Better Than That

Obama is setting new standards for cars, following those already in place in California. The New York Times reports: "Mr. Obama...


Obama is setting new standards for cars, following those already in place in California. The New York Times reports:"Mr. Obama is...effectively issuing a single rule for both fuel economy and emissions that matches California's strictest-in-the-nation standard....Under the new standard, the new combined fuel efficiency standard for cars and light trucks will be about 35 miles per gallon by 2016, roughly in line with the California rule.... The current standards are 27.5 miles a gallon for cars and about 24 miles a gallon for trucks. The new mileage and emissions rules will gradually tighten, beginning with 2011 models, until they reach the 2016 standards.The auto industry is not expected to challenge the rule, which provides two things they have long asked for: certainty on a timetable and a single national standard."Fantastic. Driving accounts for about 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and marginal improvements to the most inefficient cars help a lot.Of course, these new fuel efficiency standards will only apply to new cars. Cars that are 13 or more years old account for 75 percent of the total pollution from cars. We might want to combine this with a "cash for clunkers" program, or some other measure to deal with the dirtiest old cars.Clunker photo (cc) from Flickr user Mike McCaffrey.
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