The new standards, covering model years 2012-2016, and ultimately requiring an average fuel economy standard of 35.5 mpg in 2016, are projected to save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the life of the program with a fuel economy gain averaging more than 5 percent per year and a reduction of approximately 900 million metric tons in greenhouse gas emissions. This would surpass the CAFE law passed by Congress in 2007 required an average fuel economy of 35 mpg in 2020. As a result of this agreement, it is projected that the nation will save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of the vehicles sold in the next five years. (EPA)
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 provision:
TITLE I--ENERGY SECURITY THROUGH IMPROVED VEHICLE FUEL ECONOMY
Subtitle A--Increased Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards
SEC. 101. SHORT TITLE.
This subtitle may be cited as the ‘Ten-in-Ten Fuel Economy Act’.
SEC. 102. AVERAGE FUEL ECONOMY STANDARDS FOR AUTOMOBILES AND CERTAIN OTHER VEHICLES.
(a) Increased Standards- Section 32902 of title 49, United States Code, is amended--
(1) in subsection (a)--
(A) by striking ‘Non-Passenger Automobiles- ’ and inserting ‘Prescription of Standards by Regulation- ’;
(B) by striking ‘(except passenger automobiles)’ in subsection (a); and
(C) by striking the last sentence;
(2) by striking subsection (b) and inserting the following:
‘(b) Standards for Automobiles and Certain Other Vehicles-
‘(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of Transportation, after consultation with the Secretary of Energy and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, shall prescribe separate average fuel economy standards for--
‘(A) passenger automobiles manufactured by manufacturers in each model year beginning with model year 2011 in accordance with this subsection;
‘(B) non-passenger automobiles manufactured by manufacturers in each model year beginning with model year 2011 in accordance with this subsection; and
‘(C) work trucks and commercial medium-duty or heavy-duty on-highway vehicles in accordance with subsection (k).
‘(2) FUEL ECONOMY STANDARDS FOR AUTOMOBILES-
‘(A) AUTOMOBILE FUEL ECONOMY AVERAGE FOR MODEL YEARS 2011 THROUGH 2020- The Secretary shall prescribe a separate average fuel economy standard for passenger automobiles and a separate average fuel economy standard for non-passenger automobiles for each model year beginning with model year 2011 to achieve a combined fuel economy average for model year 2020 of at least 35 miles per gallon for the total fleet of passenger and non-passenger automobiles manufactured for sale in the United States for that model year.
This plan would also serve to appease California's desire to raise its standards beyond the 35 mpg range to meet its ambitious carbon dioxide emissions reductions. Moving the target date up should appeal to California, particularly since the automobile industry is struggling right now. CAFE standards were passed by Congress in 1975 in response to the 73/74 energy crisis and led to establishing the 27.5 mpg stardard for cars and 20.7 mpg for light trucks.