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EPA Wants Your Input

2010 August 31

In the EPA Office of Air, my staff and I spend a lot of time working toward practical solutions that improve the quality of the air we breathe and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. This includes providing you with the information you need to make decisions that help with this effort — decisions like what kind of car to buy.

That’s why we, along with the Department of Transportation, are asking you what information you need to make better informed economic and environmental decisions when buying a new car. We’ve proposed changes to the fuel economy labels you see on the window of every new vehicle in dealer showrooms.

New technologies, such as battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, are becoming more widely available in the American market. The new labels are designed to provide car buyers with simple, straightforward energy and environmental information for all types of vehicles, including conventional gas-powered vehicles.

For more information, and to find out how you can view the proposed changes and offer your feedback, see the news release.

About the author: Gina McCarthy is Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation and has been a leading advocate for comprehensive strategies to confront climate change and strengthen our green economy.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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8 Responses leave one →
  1. David Eikelberg permalink
    August 31, 2010

    The current gas/diesel vehicle window stickers provide sufficient information. If buying an electric vehicle, I would want to know:
    Recharge time at what amperage draw.
    Average cost per mile for a single recharge based on average utility rates.
    Suitable for standard 200 amp home electric service yes or no.
    Expected distance on a single full charge.
    220 volt and/or 110 volt rechargeable?
    Expected distance on an 80% charge or for example a 10 minute charge at a specific stated supply amperage service.
    Expected battery life under average use.

    Thank you for the opportunity to provide input. Dave Eikelberg.

  2. Norm Ledeboer permalink
    August 31, 2010

    Things I would look for when buying a new car; 1. Engine size, fuel economy and type of fuel; 2. Type and quality of tires–how long they are projected to last; 3. Projected life of other components, such as battery, brakes, lights, etc.; 4. Number and types of air bags and other safety features(These may affect insurance costs); 5. Reliability and maintenance history for this make and model.

  3. Jim Jonas permalink
    August 31, 2010

    I think the idea of better gas mileage sticker is a good one. Americans credit at this point in our history is horrific because of the economy.In order to sell more vehicles a monthly figure must be low enough.I think the change of ownership must change that is the idea. Owning generally is longer term process.
    And in conclusion I have a true plan to move vehicles but it must be a face to face conversation or a written document not taking my idea. I sold cars for years.Please understand I want to make sure I get the credit for this concept.
    My Best
    Jim Jonas

  4. mark walter permalink
    September 1, 2010

    I’d like to see easier-to-access information that describes the interior air quality inside the car. For example, is there an air filter? Where is it? Is it easy to change, readily accessible? Are there any options available, e.g., a better or higher quality air filter?

  5. Jerry Morgan permalink
    September 7, 2010

    What I would like is access to information that would help me to make better purchasing decisions .

  6. somendra permalink
    October 6, 2010

    we can wait for future technologies.
    after 5-10 years new inventions and tecniques in auto sector will be
    cars by air,water,hydrofuel and of course by plants will be available
    in cheapest rates.

  7. Jim Bullis, Miastrada Company permalink
    October 13, 2010

    The offensiveness of the proposed rating system would be minimized if the following was implemented.

    Do you really want input?

    Standing Forests Solve Global Warming At No Cost

    The game winning answer to global warming is to create standing forests, where every ton of newly existing forest mass, on a sustaining basis, compensates by CO2 capture for the burning of a ton of coal, approximately. Key to this solution is distribution of water in North America on a continental basis.

    I have been dismayed by promotion of electric vehicles with implicit increased use of electricity and the associated increase in CO2. Viable, large scale solutions to this problem have been absent. But I have been shocked by the planning put forward by the US EPA ** regarding ‘carbon’ capture and sequestration (CCS), where the capture cost burden per ton of coal used would be up to $180-$320. This would be for capture of CO2 only, with additional costs for transportation and pumping it into caverns being not addressed, but acknowledged as additional expense.

    Thus motivated, I looked for a better solution, and found that China seems to have taken the lead over our environmentalists in this very practical matter. A year ago, in a speech about how China was planning to react to the global warming problem, President Hu spoke of “forest carbon”. ***

    It is not a big step to think that this kind of solution would be possible in North America, Brazil perhaps, and other places yet to be identified. It is a big step to think big about water distribution that would be needed to accomplish CCS on the needed scale, but in North America this is within reach, with the action of wise government assumed.

    Of course there would be a need for due diligence in protecting Northern ecosystems, as well as due deference to rights of others. The goal of CO2 mitigation is not just our concern, so there would seem to be motivation for Canada to lend their essential support to such a project.

    Every ton of forest mass, that exists on a sustaining basis, sequesters CO2 sufficiently to compensate for the burning of a ton of coal, approximately. As it grows, it captures that CO2 from the atmosphere. Mature forests must be maintained and harvested wisely, and new forests must continue to grow.

    Using minimally productive land in selected regions, a fifty year project should be possible, where fifty years of coal fired power plant operation would be supported. In this time we would need to solve the problems of nuclear waste, so that there could be an eventual transition to that form of energy. During this fifty years, we would also need to work toward minimizing the amount of energy needed for our vehicles.

    This forest project, along with ancillary agricultural development, would be quickly self supporting. We know about the agricultural results from the latest California Aquaduct project implemented in 1963 through the California Central Valley. The forest part would be something new.

    The immediate benefit of such a project would be high quantity job creation, but up front investment in the permanent forest infrastructure would be repaid over the long term of highly productive operation. A large cadre of trained workers for forest management, a large expansion of agricultural operations, and a long term flow of export products would lift us from our current employment debacle.

    We see this as a public project that should appeal to all political strains, since it would create a backbone infrastructure that would set the stage for use of energy to continue functioning of our developed world without damage to the global environment.
    Implementing such a concept would require much detail in its actual design, but feasibility in general is not in question.

    This would be a massive federal project that must be handled by government, both in regard to international water negotiations and financial arrangements.

    Is there a political force that can handle such a project?

    ** The announced plan by the EPA is to require ‘best available technology’ and the recent report by them (Sept 2010) said ‘carbon’ capture would cost up to $95 per ton of CO2. Working this out in terms of the burden on the use of a ton of coal shows that the burden for use of a ton of Powder River Basin coal (half the element carbon by weight) will be about $180 per ton of that coal, and higher carbon coal would incur proportionately higher burden, up to around $320 per ton.
    *** President Hu said, “— we will energetically increase forest carbon — we will endeavor to increase forest coverage by 40 million hectares and forest stock volume by 1.3 billion cubic meters by 2020 from 2005 levels.” ( This was reported by Joe Romm at his ‘climateprogress’ web site.

  8. Jim Bullis, Miastrada Company permalink
    October 13, 2010

    I was referring to the motor vehicle rating plans, including especially the MPGE calculation formula that I understand you are embracing.

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