WASHINGTON - President Obama on May 21 announced plans to extend federal auto fuel economy and emissions rules through 2025 and to develop new regulations for large trucks, the New York Times reported. 

Obama, during a press conference in the Rose Garden, also called for more federal support for advanced automobile infrastructure, particularly for electric plug-in vehicles, and for more regulation of non-greenhouse pollutants from vehicles. He signed a memorandum instructing federal regulators to develop the next round of passenger vehicle standards and new rules for commercial buses and trucks. But administration officials indicated the memorandum doesn't include specific miles-per-gallon targets. 

The plan calls for the U.S. EPA and Department of Transportation to begin work on rules for passenger cars and light-duty trucks, which would go into effect with MY 2017 and take over where the previous set of rules ends. These two agencies would also expand the program to include medium- and heavy-duty trucks, beginning with MY 2014 and running through 2018. The agencies will seek to finalize the truck rules by 2012. 

The memorandum also instructs the EPA to reduce non-greenhouse gas pollutants from vehicles, including nitrous oxide, particulates and sulfur dioxide. In addition, the Energy Department is directed to help increase development of the electric vehicle infrastructure.

Though Obama's memorandum directs the EPA and DOT to work toward model year 2025, law dictates that the administration can only set fuel economy rules for five model years at a time. As a result, at least two separate rulemakings are likely, the New York Times reported. 

Originally posted on Green Fleet Magazine

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