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U.S. Issues Limits on Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Cars

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The federal government issued final rules establishing the first greenhouse gas emissions standards for automobiles and light trucks on Thursday, ending a 30-year battle between regulators and automakers.

The new rules, jointly written by the Transportation Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, set emissions and mileage standards that will translate to a fleet average of 35.5 miles a gallon by 2016, nearly a 40 percent improvement over today’s fuel economy.

Officials said the program would save the owner of an average 2016 car $3,000 in fuel costs over the life of the vehicle and eliminate emissions of nearly a billion tons of climate-altering gases over the lives of the regulated vehicles. Reaching the new efficiency level will add about $1,000 to the cost of the average new car by 2016, according to industry and government estimates.

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