the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Presidential Memorandum Regarding Fuel Efficiency Standards


SUBJECT:Improving Energy Security, American Competitiveness and Job Creation, and Environmental Protection through a Transformation of our Nation's Fleet of Cars and Trucks

America has the opportunity to lead the world in the development of a new generation of clean cars and trucks through innovative technologies and manufacturing that will spur economic growth and create high-quality domestic jobs, enhance our energy security, and improve our environment.  We already have made significant strides toward reducing greenhouse gas pollution and enhancing fuel efficiency from motor vehicles with the joint rulemaking issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on April 1, 2010, which regulates these attributes of passenger cars and light-duty trucks for model years 2012-2016.  In this memorandum, I request that additional coordinated steps be taken to produce a new generation of clean vehicles.

Section 1Medium- and Heavy-Duty Trucks.

While the Federal Government and many States have now created a harmonized framework for addressing the fuel economy of and greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light-duty trucks, medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses continue to be a major source of fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas pollution.  I therefore request that the Administrators of the EPA and the NHTSA immediately begin work on a joint rulemaking under the Clean Air Act (CAA) and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) to establish fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards for commercial medium- and heavy-duty vehicles beginning with model year 2014, with the aim of issuing a final rule by July 30, 2011.  As part of this rule development process, I request that the Administrators of the EPA and the NHTSA:

(a) Propose and take comment on strategies, including those designed to increase the use of existing technologies, to achieve substantial annual progress in reducing transportation sector emissions and fossil fuel consumption consistent with my Administration's overall energy and climate security goals.  These strategies should consider whether particular segments of the diverse heavy-duty vehicle sector present special opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase fuel economy.  For example, preliminary estimates indicate that large tractor trailers, representing half of all greenhouse gas emissions from this sector, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 20 percent and increase their fuel efficiency by as much as 25 percent with the use of existing technologies;

(b) Include fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards that take into account the market structure of the trucking industry and the unique demands of heavy-duty vehicle applications; seek harmonization with applicable State standards; consider the findings and recommendations published in the National Academy of Science report on medium- and heavy-duty truck regulation; strengthen the industry and enhance job creation in the United States; and

(c) Seek input from all stakeholders, while recognizing the continued leadership role of California and other States.

Sec. 2Passenger Cars and Light-Duty Trucks.

Building on the earlier joint rulemaking, and in order to provide greater certainty and incentives for long-term innovation by automobile and light-duty vehicle manufacturers, I request that the Administrators of the EPA and the NHTSA develop, through notice and comment rulemaking, a coordinated national program under the CAA and the EISA to improve fuel efficiency and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of passenger cars and light-duty trucks of model years 2017-2025.  The national program should seek to produce joint Federal standards that are harmonized with applicable State standards, with the goal of ensuring that automobile manufacturers will be able to build a single, light-duty national fleet.  The program should also seek to achieve substantial annual progress in reducing transportation sector greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel consumption, consistent with my Administration's overall energy and climate security goals, through the increased domestic production and use of existing, advanced, and emerging technologies, and should strengthen the industry and enhance job creation in the United States.  As part of implementing the national program, I request that the Administrators of the EPA and the NHTSA:

(a) Work with the State of California to develop by September 1, 2010, a technical assessment to inform the rulemaking process, reflecting input from an array of stakeholders on relevant factors, including viable technologies, costs, benefits, lead time to develop and deploy new and emerging technologies, incentives and other flexibilities to encourage development and deployment of new and emerging technologies, impacts on jobs and the automotive manufacturing base in the United States, and infrastructure for advanced vehicle technologies; and

(b) Take all measures consistent with law to issue by September 30, 2010, a Notice of Intent to Issue a Proposed Rule that announces plans for setting stringent fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards for light-duty vehicles of model year 2017 and beyond, including plans for initiating joint rulemaking and gathering any additional information needed to support regulatory action.  The Notice should describe the key elements of the program that the EPA and the NHTSA intend jointly to propose, under their respective statutory authorities, including potential standards that could be practicably implemented nationally for the 2017-2025 model years and a schedule for setting those standards as expeditiously as possible, consistent with providing sufficient lead time to vehicle manufacturers.

Sec. 3Cleaner Vehicles and Fuels and Necessary Infrastructure.

The success of our efforts to achieve enhanced energy security and to protect the environment also depends upon the development of infrastructure and promotion of fuels, including biofuels, which will enable the development and widespread deployment of advanced technologies.  Therefore, I further request that:

(a) The Administrator of the EPA review for adequacy the current nongreenhouse gas emissions regulations for new motor vehicles, new motor vehicle engines, and motor vehicle fuels, including tailpipe emissions standards for nitrogen oxides and air toxics, and sulfur standards for gasoline.  If the Administrator of the EPA finds that new emissions regulations are required, then I request that the Administrator of the EPA promulgate such regulations as part of a comprehensive approach toward regulating motor vehicles; and

(b) The Secretary of Energy promote the deployment of advanced technology vehicles by providing technical assistance to cities preparing for deployment of electric vehicles, including plug-in hybrids and all electric vehicles; and

(c) The Department of Energy work with stakeholders on the development of voluntary standards to facilitate the robust deployment of advanced vehicle technologies and coordinate its efforts with the Department of Transportation, the NHTSA, and the EPA.

Sec. 4General Provisions.

(a) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law, including international trade obligations, and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(b) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

(c) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(1) authority granted by law to a department, agency, or the head thereof; or

(2) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

Sec. 5Publication.

The Secretary of Transportation is hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.