The Japanese government announced August 22 that it will return to old oil and gas plants to replace its nuclear power plants. As a result, the nation’s yearly fuel costs could increase by $39 billion, and emissions are expected to dramatically increase. Three days prior, the Japanese government proposed to raise the average fuel economy requirement for passenger cars to 47.7 miles per gallon by 2020, up 25 percent from the current standard; the draft plan would go into effect in 2012.