EPA reports positive news on vehicle emissions, efficiency front

EPA says average vehicle-related emissions have declined since 2004, as fuel efficiency has inched forward.

For the first time, the Environmental Protection Agency is included carbon dioxide emissions information in its annual report, "Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 through 2009."

The news is relatively positive: Not only has fuel efficiency increased for the fifth consecutive year -- to an average of 21.1 miles per gallon compared with 21 miles per gallon -- the agency reports that average carbon dioxide emissions have decreased since 2005. Since 2004, average carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced by 39 grams per mile, which is a reduction of about 8 percent. This reverses a trend from 1987 to 2004, when carbon dioxide emissions increased and fuel efficiency decline, according to the EPA.

Here's the trends report.

Try to tell me this is a bad thing.