Headline RoundupDecember 20th, 2021

EPA Finalizes Tighter Fuel Emissions Standards for 2026

AllSides Summary

Manufacturers of new cars and light trucks will be required to achieve a fleet average of 40 miles per gallon by 2026, according to Environmental Protection Agency standards finalized Monday

Some outlets across the spectrum reported a different number — 55 miles per gallon — likely because they used a different figure from the EPA’s regulatory update document; the “40 miles per gallon” figure is adjusted for “real-world impacts” on emissions, like “high speed driving, air conditioning usage, and cold temperatures.” The new rules specify that cars built for model years 2023-2026 must raise fuel efficiency 5-10% each year to meet a 161 grams per mile standard for carbon dioxide emissions. 

Coverage from the left tended to highlight climate change and the Trump administration’s looser emissions rules. Some coverage from the right framed the rules as “strict.” Headlines differed in describing the standards; The New York Times (Lean Left) called them “strengthened limits on pollution,” and Fox News (Right) called them “tougher new fuel economy rules.” Most headlines said the rules “raised” or “tightened” standards. 

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