Obama Administration Proposes First National Limits on Global Warming Pollution from Cars and Trucks

Clean Car Standards Would Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Cut Oil Dependence and Save Americans Money at the Pump

SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (September 15, 2009) – The U.S. EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today announced a joint proposal for national standards for greenhouse gas pollution from cars and trucks, along with strengthened fuel economy standards.

According to EPA and NHTSA, the new proposed standards will cut global warming pollution from vehicles by 30 percent, improve fuel economy to an average of about 35.5 miles per gallon, and save drivers thousand of dollars over the life of the vehicles – all while adopting a “size-based” standard favored by domestic automakers.

Today’s action follows President Obama’s historic clean car agreement announced in May that was supported by car makers, states, and environmental organizations.

Following is a statement by Roland Hwang, vehicles policy director for NRDC:

“This historic proposal moves America further down the road to cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles. This unprecedented national program would reduce global warming pollution, break our dependence on oil, and save drivers money at the pump. Working together, the Obama administration, states, the auto industry, and environmental leaders have come to an agreement that will enable car makers to meet the challenges of the 21st century, while protecting our planet and our health.

“These new national rules could not have happened without California's ground-breaking standards to tackle global warming pollution from cars and trucks.

“NRDC looks forward to working with EPA and NHTSA to ensure that the new standards deliver the benefits promised in last May’s clean car agreement.”


This is EPA’s first action to curb global warming pollution under the Clean Air Act, using the authority upheld by the Supreme Court’s landmark 2007 decision in Massachusetts v. EPA. The two federal agencies are expected to issue the final standards next March, after a public comment period. The new standards will take effect with 2012 model cars and trucks and ramp up to full strength by 2016. The Obama administration’s move to adopt California’s ground-breaking standards reaffirms the state’s leadership role in tackling global warming pollution through clean vehicle technology.

For more background on this agreement, read David Doniger’s blog: Clean Car Peace Treaty at White House