EPA and DOT Issue Notice of Intent to Conduct Joint Rulemaking on GHG Emissions and Cafe Standards

On May 22, 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a Notice of Intent to Conduct a Joint Rulemaking to propose standards for control of emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and for fuel economy. If proposed and finalized, these standards would apply to passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles (light-duty vehicles) built in model years (MY) 2012 through 2016. These vehicle categories include passenger cars, sport utility vehicles, minivans, and pickup trucks.

Both agencies currently intend to propose attribute-based standards based on vehicle footprint for passenger cars and light-duty trucks. The agencies state that these upcoming rulemakings will be based on technology that will be commercially available and that they expect can be incorporated at a reasonable cost. The upcoming rulemakings will include analyses on the costs and benefits of the proposals as well as the effects the proposals would have on the economy, manufacturers, and consumers.

EPA and DOT anticipate proposing certain program flexibilities for achieving compliance, especially in the early years of the program, such as credits earned for better than average fleet performance, credits for reducing GHG emissions related to air conditioning systems, opportunities for early credits in MY 2009 – 2011, and temporary lead-time allowances for low vehicle sales. The upcoming proposed rulemakings will also likely address possible penalties for noncompliance with the new standards.

If you have any questions about this Notice or if you would be interested in filing public comments to the upcoming Notices of Proposed Rulemaking, please contact Elizabeth L. Branch or the Sustainability Group

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