EPA begins using its carbon muscle despite substantial evidence that CO2 does not cause global warming

April 2, 2010 04:13

Effect of new EPA mileage rules on global temperatures? Zip, nada, nuttin, zero!

By JOHN M. BRODER at New York Times

WASHINGTON — The federal government took its first formal step to regulate global warming pollution on Thursday by issuing final rules for greenhouse gas emissions for automobiles and light trucks.

The move ends a 30-year battle between regulators and automakers but sets the stage for what may be a bigger fight over climate-altering emissions from stationary sources like power plants, steel mills and refineries.

The new tailpipe rules, jointly written by the Transportation Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, set emissions and mileage standards that would translate to a combined fuel economy average for new vehicles of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016. Most drivers will see lower mileage figures in actual driving.

The rules are expected to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases about 30 percent from 2012 to 2016.

Officials said the program would save the owner of an average 2016 car about $3,000 in fuel over the life of the vehicle and eliminate emissions of nearly a billion tons of greenhouse gases over the lives of all regulated vehicles.

Reaching the new efficiency figure will add about $1,000 to the cost of the average new car by 2016, according to industry and government estimates.

The tailpipe rule reflects a truce between the auto industry and state and federal governments, which have been feuding over emissions and mileage standards since the 1970s. It is the first time the federal Clean Air Act has been applied to carbon dioxide and other global warming pollutants.

The E.P.A. is now writing greenhouse gas standards for stationary sources, a much larger effort whose impact will be felt across the entire economy. Officials have said those regulations would not go into effect before next year at the earliest, but they are already being fiercely challenged by lawmakers, state governments and an array of industry groups.


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