EPA Finalizes Rule to Slash Tailpipe Emissions

By | March 04, 2014
In the government's latest crackdown on auto-related pollution, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized a rule today that will reduce harmful emissions of new cars between 70 and 80 percent. Starting for the 2018 model year, the new standards are expected to cut pollution so much as to save an estimated 2,000 lives and prevent 50,000 cases of respiratory problems in children. The EPA hopes to clean up the air by dramatically decreasing sulfur levels in gasoline. Reducing the amount of sulfur allows a car's pollution control systems to work more effectively, helping to filter out more harmful emissions. This plan, of course, will require some major changes on the part of automakers and oil refiners. The new technology required for cars to accommodate the standards, including improved catalytic converters, will add an estimated $72 per vehicle in 2025, according to the EPA. Meanwhile, the rule will also raise fuel costs by less than a penny per gallon, although groups such as the American Petroleum Institute say these costs will likely be higher.
But perhaps it is all about striking a balance. The EPA says the new rule will save in overall health costs for citizens. New fuel economy standards will result in typical savings of over $8,000 by 2025, when automakers will be mandated to achieve an average 54.5 mpg in their new cars. Source: EPA, Associated Press