President Obama will announce a plan today to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by requiring higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, light trucks, and SUVs sold in the United States. The president's plan, which has the backing of the US auto industry, closely mirrors rules that were adopted by California in 2005, but were not allowed to be implemented under the Bush administration. The new federal standard will require that cars average at least 39 mpg by 2016, and light trucks and SUVs reach 30 mpg by that year. Current federal rules require 27.5 mpg for cars and 22.3 mpg for SUVs and light trucks.
The White House says the new standards will save 1.8 billion barrels of oil through 2016 and would be the environmental equivalent to taking 177 million cars off the road. The new standards will raise the average price of vehicles by about $1,300, but consumers will be able to make up that increased cost within five years of purchase by saving money at the pump, the White House says.