In possibly the worst-timed government announcement ever, Lisa P. Jackson, the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is currently holding a press conference in Washington, D.C. to announce a new mandate for carmakers: all non-round letters in any badge, nameplate, or other signifier are to be phased out by 2012 in an effort to reduce aerodynamic drag and increase fuel efficiency.

"This is an example of science leading the way in car design. We have put every car on the market through extensive wind tunnel testing and come to the conclusion that the low-hanging fruit of logo drag is simply too juicy not to pluck," said Jackson. "Toyota, BMW, and Lincoln were the worst offenders. The first phase of the mandate will require all Ms, Ws, Ts, and Ls to be removed." Gains in efficiency of 3-5 percent are expected immediately.

Citing research from motorsports as further evidence, Jackson asked, "When was the last time you saw any raised lettering on an F1 car? Or NASCAR? In the future, we hope to be able to allow painted logos, but the threat to our atmosphere and our environment is too great to wait for the necessary re-tooling of plants. The logo drag must go." Jackson insists, "this is NOT an April Fool's joke."

But what about vinyl wraps, you ask? Jackson pre-empted such an idea by noting the huge amounts of petrochemicals involved in the production of the material and adhesive, pointing out that a switch to vinyl wraps or logos throughout the industry would double our foreign oil dependence overnight.

BMW press event introducing 'i' sub-brand, Munich, Feb 2011

BMW press event introducing 'i' sub-brand, Munich, Feb 2011

BMW has already jumped on board, despite plans for its green-focused 'i' sub-brand, which will see its singular letter on the ban list by October. Instead, BMW will simply brand all of its cars "B," noting that its own testing has found the bumps on the backside of the letter act as tiny vortex generators, actually reducing drag.

Lincoln refused to comment on the matter. Toyota, on the other hand, has already found a loophole, and will be announcing later today that all of its cars will be badged in cursive.

Stay tuned for more as the story develops.