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Feds Renewed Fuel-Economy Standards Will Help NJ Reduce Smog

Thursday, January 19, 2017   (0 Comments)
Share | 01/17/2017

In a move that may be challenged by a new administration, the federal Environmental Protection Agency will retain tough fuel-economy standards for new cars and light trucks through 2025. The standards are part of the Obama administration’s efforts to curb greenhouse-gas emissions to combat climate change. For New Jersey, where the transportation sector is the biggest contributor of pollution increasing the likelihood of global warming, the new standards are important to achieving the state’s own goals to reduce its carbon footprint.

By 2050, New Jersey has set a target of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by 80 percent from 2006 levels, according to a law adopted during the administration of former Gov. Jon Corzine. The standards are projected to result in average fleet-wide consumer fuel-economy sticker values of 36 miles by model year 2025 — 10 mpg higher than the current fleet average. The rules were first adopted in 2012, applying to car models in 2017-2025, but were subject to a midterm evaluation, and proposed for final adoption last November.

Having strong fuel economy standards is especially necessary in New Jersey because more than half of the state’s air pollution comes from sources like cars and trucks. The state has never achieved the federal health-quality standard for ground-level ozone, or smog, a pollutant that is partly formed by vehicle exhaust baking in the hot summer sun.


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