U.S. EPA criticizes DOT over fuel-economy standards
Officials at the U.S. EPA have criticized their counterparts at the U.S. Transportation Department lately over the DOT’s proposed fuel-economy standards for vehicles of 31.6 miles per gallon by 2015. The EPA has said the DOT used an unreasonably low figure for future gasoline prices — $2.42 a gallon in 2016 and a high of $3.37 a gallon — which skewed the final cost-benefit figures in favor of lower fuel-economy standards; the 2007 energy bill mandates that automakers meet a standard of 35 miles per gallon by 2020, but the legislation allows the DOT to set the interim standards. “EPA has several concerns with the methodology used to determine the relative benefits and costs of the alternatives analyzed,” said EPA’s Susan Bromm in flawless bureaucratese (the shared language of all U.S. federal agencies). The EPA also criticized the DOT for putting what it said was too low a value on the societal benefits of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, saying that the DOT calculated only the costs to the U.S. and not to other nations of the world that are also impacted by climate change.