“We have a cost-effective way for them to meet the new fuel standards without compromising on safety, comfort or performance,” Anton said.
Caldwell also cautioned that the EPA uses a different method of calculating mileage for the window stickers that consumers see at an auto dealer, so the estimate consumers should expect to see on window stickers in 2025 will be closer to 36 mpg.
In addition to increasing fuel efficiency, the rules also establish an emissions standard of 144 grams of carbon dioxide per mile for passenger cars and 203 grams of CO2 per mile for trucks.
Kevin Kennedy, who directs the U.S. climate initiative at the World Resources Institute, noted that light-duty vehicle emissions represent approximately 17 percent of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
“These rules represent one of the best opportunities for the administration to take a bite out of emissions that are damaging the planet, and in a way that’s good for consumers and the auto industry,” Kennedy said.
According to EPA estimates, the proposed standards would reduce CO2 emissions by 2 billion metric tons over the lifetimes of light-duty vehicles sold between model years 2017 and 2025. By 2025, the EPA said, the standards would cut U.S. oil consumption by 2.2 million barrels of oil per day compared with 2010 levels, save $1.7 trillion in fuel costs and result in an average fuel savings of more than $8,000 per vehicle.
“Vehicles that go much farther on a gallon of gasoline are the best weapon we have against rising gas prices,” said Daniel J. Weiss, senior fellow and director of climate strategy at the liberal think tank Center for American Progress.
Even as the administration moved to finalize the standards, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has vowed to overturn them if elected. Last fall, Romney said he “would get the EPA out of its effort to manage carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles and trucks.”
In February, Romney reiterated his opposition during a speech in Detroit, saying the fuel-efficiency rules “hurt domestic automakers and provided a benefit to some of the foreign automakers.”