The US Department of Transportation (DoT) secretary Ray LaHood and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Lisa P Jackson have proposed a rule to reduce greenhouse gases and increase fuel economy.

The rule, the nation’s first, will require automobile manufacturers to build vehicles in compliance with new national emissions standards under the the EPA’s greenhouse gas programme.

The vehicles would also need to satisfy the miles per gallon requirements under the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards (CAFE) programe.

The programme could increase fuel economy by nearly 5%, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 950 million metric tons, save the average car buyer fuel costs of over $3000 and save 1.8 billion barrels of oil annually.

US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said that the new proposals would bring about a new era in automotive history.

“These proposed standards would help consumers save money at the gas pump, help the environment, and decrease our dependence on oil – all while ensuring that consumers still have a full range of vehicle choices,” LaHood said.

In addition, the proposal allows for clearer rules for all automobile manufacturers, instead of three standards of DOT, EPA, and state.

The NHTSA and EPA are providing a 60-day comment period on the proposal for the programme, which would initially cover automobile model years from 2012 to 2016.