EPA: Gas mileage dropped, pollution rose for 2019 vehicles

This photo provided by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles shows the 2021 Ram 1500, a light-duty pickup truck that stands out in terms of comfort and refinement on the road. (FCA US via AP)

DETROIT — A new government report says gas mileage for new vehicles dropped and pollution increased in model year 2019 for the first time in five years.

The mileage increase comes as Americans continue to buy SUVs and trucks, and shift away from more efficient vehicles.

The Environmental Protection Agency says the changes show that few automakers could meet strict emissions and mileage standards set by the Obama administration.

But environmental groups contend that automakers used loopholes and stopped marketing fuel-efficient vehicles knowing that the Trump administration would roll back mileage and pollution standards.

The EPA report released Wednesday says gas mileage fell 0.2 miles per gallon, while greenhouse gas emissions rose by 3 grams per mile traveled, compared with 2018 figures. Mileage fell and pollution increased for the first time since 2014.

Mileage fell to 24.9 miles per gallon while greenhouse gas emissions rose to 356 grams per mile, the report said.

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AP Writer Ellen Knickmeyer contributed to this story from Oklahoma City.

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