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Feds, California Working Together on Next Generation of Fuel Standards, Emissions Reductions

The U.S. Department of Transportation, the EPA and the California Air Resources Board announced a single time frame for proposing fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards for model year 2017-2025 cars and light-duty trucks.

While school buses are exempt, many “white fleet” vehicles used by school districts or school bus companies could be affected as well as personal vehicles. Meanwhile, EPA and NHTSA announced last fall that it would be improving fuel efficiency and reducing greenhouse gases for commercial vehicles, including school buses, from 2014 through 2018.

The federal and state agencies said proposing the new standards on the same time frame (Sept. 1, 2011) “signals continued collaboration that could lead to an extension of the current National Clean Car Program, providing automakers certainty as they work to build the next generation of clean, fuel efficient cars.”

Last year DOT and EPA also established GHG and fuel economy standards for model year 2012-2016 light-duty cars and trucks. Then, in the fall, California accepted compliance with these federal GHG standards as meeting similar state standards as adopted in 2004, resulting in the first coordinated national program. The standards require these vehicles to meet an estimated combined average emissions level of 250 grams of carbon dioxide per mile in model year 2016, which is equivalent to 35.5 miles per gallon.

DOT and the EPA said auto manufacturers are responding to these goals through the increased domestic production and use of existing, advanced, and emerging technologies to strengthen the auto industry and enhance job creation in the United States.

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