Your clean cars questions, explained

By Maxine Joselow | Green Wire / E&E News Link to article

You’ve probably heard the term “clean car rules.” But do you know what it actually means?

Here are answers to some common questions about the climate rules for automobiles.

Where did the rules originate?

Former President Obama can reasonably claim credit for the rules. In May 2009, he announced the new regulations in the White House Rose Garden alongside the CEOs of major auto companies, including Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co.

What was Obama’s goal?

The former president aimed to get cars to travel 54.5 mpg by model year 2025. Accomplishing the goal, he said, would slash planet-warming pollution from cars while improving their efficiency.

Which federal agencies are involved?

The clean car rules are a joint endeavor between EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a division of the Department of Transportation. Each agency handles a different component.

NHTSA (pronounced “NIT-suh”) is responsible for setting the fuel economy standards, which dictate how far cars can travel on a single tank of gasoline.

EPA is responsible for setting the vehicle greenhouse gas emissions standards, which dictate how much carbon dioxide cars can release from their tailpipes.

How is California involved?

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