Today, the Ohio Clean Air Coalition and clean car advocates hailed the EPA and Obama Administration's release of a new round of EPA Fuel Efficiency and Emission Standards for cars, saying improved gas mileage will cut costs for consumers, create jobs and lower emissions of dangerous carbon pollution from tailpipes that contribute to climate change and threaten public health.
"With gas prices high and volatile, Americans want more fuel-efficient cars so they can spend less money on gas. These new standards will essentially double the fuel efficiency of cars and trucks in the United States, giving consumers what they want: better cars and relief at the pump," said Tracy Sabetta, representing the National Wildlife Federation and the Ohio Clean Air Coalition. "Combined with the first round of the Administration's and EPA's cars standards, finalized in 2010, these new fuel efficiency and carbon pollution standards for cars and light trucks are the single biggest step this country has ever taken to tackle climate change and reduce our dependency on oil."
This new phase of fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks is the second of two rounds over the last year -- first for model years 2012-2016 and now with these additional fuel efficiency standards for model years 2017-2025. The new standards will take the existing fuel efficiency standard from 35.5 mpg in 2016 to 54.5 mpg by 2025. When compared to the average vehicle on the road today, a new car in 2025 will save consumers over $8000, even when including the cost of fuel-saving technologies. Experts say that, combined, these new car fuel efficiency and emissions standards will not only save Americans money at the gas pump, but will drive American automobile manufacturing jobs in the long run.
"The new fuel efficiency standards give automakers their own road map for the future - providing certainty in the market and spurring innovation - putting people to work," said Sabetta. "A recent independent study released by the Blue Green Alliance estimates the proposed fuel efficiency standard will spark auto industry investments and consumer savings that would generate 570,000 jobs across the country."
Apart from the fuel savings and other economic benefits, there are obvious environmental and health benefits. Auto tailpipes pump out hundreds of millions of tons of toxic emissions and smog and global warming-causing gases. Highway vehicles emit roughly approximately 20 percent of our heat-trapping gases. In fact, vehicles are the fastest growing source of the pollution linked to climate change. Under the new proposed cars standard, Americans can also expect to save billions of dollars in unnecessary health costs associated with tailpipe emissions because of reductions in soot, smog and other pollutants.