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Obama to unveil new vehicle emission policy

world Updated: May 21, 2010 17:05 IST

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US President Barack Obama will unveil a new national policy on fuel efficiency and vehicle emissions Friday, including support to develop electric cars, the White House said.

The policy will be directed at medium- and heavy-duty trucks for the years 2014-2017, and builds on guidelines announced last year for cars and light-duty trucks.

It calls for the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation to work with automakers, US states and environmental experts to develop goals for new efficiency standards.

The White House said the policy was good for workers, businesses and consumers as it cuts costs associated with pollution, and will allow Americans to continue to have a wide range of buying options for new vehicles.

Last May, the White House announced new auto regulations it described as equivalent to taking 177 million cars off the road.

The nationwide standards sought to force US automakers to boost the efficiency of cars and light trucks by 2016, four years earlier than currently required under federal law.

Covering mileage and carbon dioxide gas emission requirements for US cars and light trucks, they rules are to begin taking effect from 2012.

The administration said the vehicle and light trucks regulations were projected to save 1.8 billion barrels of oil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 900 million metric tonnes -- the equivalent of closing 194 coal plants.