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Check Out the Fuel Efficiency Stickers That Will Show Up on Every New Car

Today, the government unveiled its design for fuel-efficiency stickers that will go on every new car. Will they help Americans make better purchases?

Last summer, Andrew reported on some "excruciatingly clear" new fuel efficiency labels that the Department of Transportation and the EPA were jointly proposing to put on cars. One of the options called for a loud, bold letter grade: A through F. They would've looked something like this:


Today, the Department of Energy unveiled the new designs. They ditched the letter grade, and the excruciating clarity, for lots of technical details.

At FuelEconomy.gov, you can click around on an interactive version that explains what all the complicated figures mean, and there are different versions for 100-percent electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, "conventional" gas guzzlers, and also diesel, flex-fuel, and a bunch of other options on the market.

So does the fact that you need the DOE's website to help annotate this label mean that it's far too complicated for the typical consumer? With 99 percent of goods, I'd say yes. But—and maybe I'm giving too much credit to the American consumer here—I think automobiles are different, and that buyers typically research the heck out of a new vehicle before taking the plunge. For that reason, the web-based directory, and QR-codes scannable by smart phones, are all really useful.

Of course, a simple letter grade would have been simpler, and there's already some disappointment at the path not taken. Michael Livermore of the Institute of Policy Integrity, for one, isn't happy with the decision to scrap the grades.

At a time when the price of gasoline is causing pain at the pump, EPA’s decision to forego clear, letter-grade fuel efficiency labels is a missed opportunity.

At no additional cost, the simplified labels would convey information in a way that consumers can easily understand, helping them save money over the life of their vehicle. The makers of gas-guzzlers may not like having their products graded for fuel efficiency performance, but consumers benefit from the clearer presentation.

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The E.P.A. has responded to some criticism, saying that the letter grades were going to be misinterpreted as grades for the overall quality of the vehicle. I can understand that concern, but is anyone actually purchasing a car on such an impulse that they wouldn't explore what the letter grade actually was? And isn't the whole point to be to make a clear statement and help guide consumers to more fuel-efficient vehicles?

So, yes, over all, I'm sad to see the letter grade go, but I still appreciate the level of detail that's included in the new labels. There's a lot of truly valuable information in there.

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This article was produced in partnership with the United Nations to launch the biggest-ever global conversation on the role of cooperation in building the future we want.

When half of the world's population doesn't share the same opportunity or rights as the other half, the whole world suffers. Like a bird whose wings require equal strength to fly, humanity will never soar to its full potential until we achieve gender equality.

That's why the United Nations made one of its Sustainable Development Goals to "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls." That goal includes providing women and girls equal access to education and health care, as well as addressing gender-based discrimination and violence against women and girls.

While there is still much work to be done, history shows us that we are capable of making big leaps forward on this issue. Check out some of the milestones humanity has already reached on the path to true equality.

Historic Leaps Toward Gender Equality

1848 The Seneca Falls Convention in New York, organized by Elizabeth Lady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, is the first U.S. women's convention to discuss the oppression of women in sociopolitical, economic, and religious life.

1893 New Zealand becomes the first self-governing nation to grant national voting rights to women.

1903 Marie Curie becomes the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. She is also the only woman to win multiple Nobel Prizes, for Physics in 1903 and Chemistry in 1911.

1920 The 19th Amendment is passed in the U.S. giving women the right to vote in all 50 U.S. states.

1973 The U.S. Open becomes the first major sports tournament of its kind to offer equal pay to women, after tennis star Billie Jean King threatened to boycott.

1975 The first World Conference on Women is held in Mexico, where a 10-year World Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women is formed. The first International Women's Day is commemorated by the UN in the same year.

1979 The UN General Assembly adopts the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), also known as the "Women's Bill of Rights." It is the most comprehensive international document protecting the rights of women, and the second most ratified UN human rights treaty after the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

1980 Vigdis Finnbogadottir of Iceland becomes the first woman to be elected head of state in a national election.

1993 The UN General Assembly adopts the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, the first international instrument to explicitly define forms of violence against women and lay out a framework for global action.

2010 The UN General Assembly creates the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) to speed progress on meeting the needs of women and girls around the world.

2018 The UN and European Union join forces on the Spotlight Initiative, a global, multi-year initiative focused on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls.

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As the UN celebrates its 75th anniversary, it is redoubling its commitment to reach all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including gender equality. But it will take action and effort from everyone to ensure that women and girls are free from discrimination and violence. Learn more about what is being done to address gender equality and see how you can get involved here.

And join the global conversation about the role of international cooperation in building the future by taking the UN75 survey here.

Let's make sure we all have a say in the future we want to see.

Communities
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John Perez was acquitted on Friday, February 21, for charges stemming from an altercation with Allentown, Pennsylvania police that was caught on video.

Footage from September 2018 shows an officer pushing Perez to the ground. After Perez got to his feet, multiple officers kicked and punched him in an attempt to get him back on the ground.

Perez claims he was responding to insults hurled at him by the officers. The police say that Perez was picking a fight. The altercation left Perez with a broken nose, scrapes, swelling, and bruises from his hips to his shoulder.

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According to Investopedia, skrinkflation is "is the practice of reducing the size of a product while maintaining its sticker price. Raising the price per given amount is a strategy employed by companies, mainly in the food and beverage industries, to stealthily boost profit margins."

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