Win-win Action on Vehicles under the Clean Air Act

Last Friday, EPA and NHTSA released a framework to improve fuel economy and cut global warming pollution from cars and light trucks through 2025. The public has a first opportunity to comment throughout October.

Whether your first concern is protecting wildlife or getting our economy back on track, these new standards will be critical to save billions of gallons of oil, combat global warming and put American oil dollars back to work building domestic jobs

For cars and light trucks, achieving 60 miles per gallon by 2025 is feasible with technology we have today. American industry is up to the task of getting the best, most efficient vehicles in the world into every garage – and the impact of such a standard is huge. When fully implemented, such a standard would cut global warming pollution by 465 million metric tons (MMT) annually – or about 7% of total US greenhouse gas emissions. It would cut gasoline use by 44 billion gallons a year or about a third of today’s gasoline consumption – enough to take real pressure off the drive to drill in ever more risky locations. It would also save consumers over $100 billion a year.

The Administration’s plan builds on the “harmonized” fuel economy and GHG standards promulgated earlier this year. Those standards were welcomed by auto and component manufacturers, national security, labor, and conservation groups because they save billions of gallons of oil while helping to put the US manufacturing sector on a path to growth, new jobs and global competitiveness.

Not surprisingly, the public continues to support moving forward on fuel economy. A poll by the Mellman Group found that 74% of likely voters favor having “the federal government require the auto industry to increase average fuel efficiency… to 60mpg by the year 2025.”

Rapid action on vehicles is also critical economic recovery. Strong standards and manufacturing investment go hand in hand to put American dollars back to work building jobs and the US economy instead of flowing out of the country for oil.
Last week’s announcement is a win-win-win for the nation, the economy and the environment. It demonstrates that climate progress can benefit everyone.

Photo Brett Weinstein