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The Importance of One National Fuel Economy/ Greenhouse Gas Emissions Program
Global Automakers and its members remain committed to supporting and participating in the ongoing efforts of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the State of California to develop and maintain a single, harmonized national program that would reduce motor vehicle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increase fuel economy to maximum feasible levels through MY2025.
A comprehensive and harmonized national approach is not only the best way to meet the nation's environmental goals but it will also provide manufacturers the ability to design, build and introduce into the marketplace the types of advanced technology vehicles consumers want to buy.
Why One National Program Makes Sense:
Avoids a patchwork of differing federal and state fuel economy/GHG emissions standards that provide no significant environmental benefit. Instead of two federal standards (an EPA GHG standard and a DOT fuel economy standard) and a separate California standard that would apply in different ways in 14 other states and jurisdictions, we believe there should be one national program for creating and administering the fuel economy/GHG emissions standards. Compliance with the national program would be deemed compliance with the California program. One national program provides manufacturers sufficient lead-time to make necessary technological improvements and reduce the overall cost of the program, without compromising environmental and fuel economy objectives.
Encourages cleaner vehicles and reduces U.S. dependence on oil. In April 2009, EPA and DOT finalized federal harmonized fuel economy/GHG emissions standards for motor for MY2012-2016 vehicles. The EPA estimates this program will reduce GHG emissions by 960 million metric tons and save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of these vehicles. According to the Administration, the recently announced fuel economy/GHG emissions standards for MY2017-2025 vehicles will save an additional 12 billion barrels of oil and eliminate six billion metric tons of carbon dioxide.
Preserves greater consumer choice. Creating one national program ensures that automobile manufacturers can build a single, national fleet and provide U.S. consumers with a full range of vehicle choices.
Automakers Commitment to the Program:
Renewed commitment for MY2017-2025 vehicles. In May 2010, the auto industry met at the White House to commit to a process for achieving a single national program to increase fuel economy and decrease GHG emissions from motor vehicles for the next 15 years. On July 29, 2011, EPA, DOT and California committed to the continuation of a single national program for MY2017-2025 vehicles and, with the support of Global Automakers and its members, an aggressive fleet-wide standard of 54.5 MPG by 2025. In August 2012, the Obama Administration issued the new fuel economy rules, setting the overall MY2017-2025 Greenhouse Gas/CAFE standard at a fleet average 54.5 mpg by 2025. The new standard is one of the biggest challenges facing the industry. However, Global Automakers’ members are committed to working to achieve higher fuel economy. Our members have developed various advanced technology vehicles and are in the process of researching and designing cars that will help reach the new fleet average target of 54.5 mpg.
Automakers are aggressively pursuing innovative ways to protect the environment and lessen the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels. From fuel cells to plug-in hybrids to all-electric vehicles, the technologies under development by our members are the result of millions of R&D dollars that focused on reducing the environmental footprint of their products.
Global Automakers strongly supports this over-compliance aspect of California’s Advanced Clean Cars Program. The federal GHG program and the ZEV program share the common goal of reducing GHG emissions by forcing advanced technologies into the market. It is only appropriate that California would provide credits for over-complying with the former program in formulating the latter program. The net result is a greater environmental benefit in terms of GHG reductions.
Global Automakers Leadership with the National Program:
Our Association has consistently supported efforts by the federal government to require meaningful improvements in fuel economy/GHG emissions standards. Global Automakers and our members have long recognized the importance of addressing climate change. For 30 years, our members have been aggressively pursuing innovative ways to reduce CO2 emissions to protect the environment and lessen our nation’s reliance on fossil fuels.
Our members routinely dominate EPA’s top 10 lists of the most fuel-efficient vehicles sold in America. These companies are ready to rise to the challenge of meeting standards designed to increase the average fuel economy of the new U.S. car and light duty truck fleet to 54.5 mpg by MY2025.
A focus on developing green technologies for the U.S. market has resulted in the following achievements by our members:
- First hybrid in the U.S. market and 82% of the U.S. hybrid market today
- First all-electric, zero-emission mass-market vehicle
- First mass-market gasoline-electric hybrid
- First fuel cell vehicle certified for consumer use
- First natural gas-powered vehicle available for consumer use
- First lower-emission LEV, ULEV, SULEV and near-zero emission AT-PZEV vehicles
Automakers have more incentive to invest in developing and deploying green technologies in the U.S. market when their efforts can focus on developing the best-possible technology, rather than adapting a technology to fit the requirements of different states. For automakers, it is critical that regulators streamline their processes, eliminate redundancies and coordinate schedules in creating the standards. Our members are committed to developing the advanced technologies needed for cleaner vehicles, but we must continue to work with all agencies to align the regulatory steps required.