Obama sets limits on car CO2 emissions
A compromise to set new US-wide fuel consumption standards for new cars and trucks in return for California backing off its push for more stringent rules on automakers, was announced on 20 May by President Barack Obama.
The proposal was said to result from months of negotiations between the White House, struggling vehicle makers and the state of California. America’s auto makers – with some support from the Bush administration – have spent years resisting efforts by California and 13 other states to set more stringent rules on car emissions.
Under the new standards, US passenger vehicles and light trucks must average 35.5 miles per gallon (6.62 litres/100km) by 2016. The proposal is aimed at cutting climate-warming carbon emissions, which would fall by 900 million metric tonnes, or more than 30 per cent over the life of the programme.
The US Congress does not have to approve the standards, which will be implemented through rules developed by the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency, which could take more than a year to complete.