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Congressional Research Service Reports
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Report RS20298 - Sport Utility Vehicles, Mini-Vans and Light Trucks: An Overview of Fuel Economy and Emissions Standards (pdf)

17-Apr-2002; Brent D. Yacobucci; 6 p.

Most sport utility vehicles, mini-vans, and pickups are classified as light trucks and thus are regulated less stringently than passenger cars under two major lawsthe Energy Policy and Conservation Act for fuel economy standards, and the Clean Air Act for emissions standards. These differences came about because at the time the laws were passed, light trucks were used differently, and because they represented a much smaller share of the automobile market. Over the past decade, however, these vehicles have dramatically increased their share of the new automobile market. Therefore, the share of total fuel consumption and emissions attributable to these vehicles has steadily increased. In response to this trend, the Environmental Protection Agency has ruled that by model year 2009, emissions from all light trucks and passenger cars will be regulated equally. Also, in April 2003, the Department of Transportation finalized more stringent fuel economy standards for light trucks starting in MY2005. This report discusses the discrepancy between emissions and fuel economy standards for passenger cars and light trucks, how that discrepancy is changing, and legislative activity related to these issues. [read report]

* These CRS reports were produced by the Congressional Research Service, a branch of the Library of Congress providing nonpartisan research reports to members of the House and Senate. The National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) has made these reports available to the public at large, but the Congressional Research Service is not affiliated with the NCSE or the National Library for the Environment (NLE). This web site is not endorsed by or associated with the Congressional Research Service. The material contained in the CRS reports does not necessarily express the views of NCSE, its supporters, or sponsors. The information is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. NCSE disclaims all warranties, either express or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. In no event shall NCSE be liable for any damages.