After battling tougher nationwide rules for automobile emissions and mileage standards for years, today automakers will join the federal and state governments and environmental activists and accept a National Program that will mandate reduced carbon emissions and increased fuel economy.

According to a press release from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and news reports the National Program, which will “begin to take effect in 2012,” will accomplish the following:

  • Put in place a federal standard for fuel efficiency that is as tough as the California program;
  • Imposing the first-ever limits on climate-altering gases from cars and trucks;
  • Create a car and light truck fleet in the United States that is almost 40 percent cleaner and more fuel-efficient — average of 35.5 miles per gallon — by 2016; and
  • Preserve vehicle diversity.

To accomplish all this, consumers will have to pay an extra $1,300 per vehicle.

Dave McCurdy, president and CEO, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers says this is a new beginning:

What’s significant about the announcement is it launches a new beginning, an era of cooperation. The President has succeeded in bringing three regulatory bodies, 15 states, a dozen automakers and many environmental groups to the table. We’re all agreeing to work together on a National Program.

It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you single-handedly control an industry — deciding who runs the company, forcing mergers and bankruptcies. It has only cost us $23 billion, so far, to prop up General Motors and Chrysler long enough to make this grand bargain. How much per vehicle has the auto industry bailout cost?