Hugh Pickens writes "NPR reports that the Obama administration has signed off on the nation's first rules on greenhouse gas emissions and set new fuel standards to meet a fleet-wide average of 35.5 mpg that will raise current standards by nearly 10 mpg by the 2016 model year. Although the new requirements would add an estimated $434 per vehicle in the 2012 model year and $926 per vehicle by 2016, drivers could save as much as $3,000 over the life of a vehicle through better gas mileage, according to a government statement. 'We will be helping American motorists save money at the pump, while putting less pollution in the air,' says Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Dave McCurdy, leader of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade group representing 11 automakers, says the industry supports a single national standard for future vehicles. 'Today, the federal government has laid out a course of action through 2016, and now we need to work on 2017 and beyond.' As the auto industry seeks to emerge from ashes, many manufacturers already are trying for the right mix of approaches, experts say. Some will try to sell more hybrids. Others are introducing not-so-gas-guzzling SUVs. They may also push slightly downsized and small cars, such as the Ford Fiesta."
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