New Fuel Efficiency Rules a Win for Wildlife, Consumers, Economy

Widely-Welcomed Standards Still Face Extremist Political Attack

07-28-2011 // Miles Grant
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President Obama is set to unveil a framework for new car and light truck fuel efficiency standards on Friday. The new standards would raise fuel efficiency standards to a 54.5 miles per gallon equivalent by 2025, resulting in a dramatic reduction in America’s oil dependence and carbon pollution.

Whether you’re a commuter in a compact car or a sportsman who needs a pickup truck, every American deserves to access to the most fuel-efficient, technologically-advanced vehicles that save them money, cut pollution, and deliver great performance,” said Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “These rules are an important step toward reducing our billion-dollar-a-day addiction to imported oil, money that stronger fuel efficiency standards will keep at home to invest in job creation here in America.”

However, the fiscal year 2012 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill as currently being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives would block the agreement on the new fuel efficiency standards. The rider is just one of many political attacks on wildlife, air, water and public health in the bill.

“A broad range of interests – from automakers to unions to conservationists – has come together behind these new rules,” said Larry Schweiger. “The technology is ready, the standards are achievable, and poll after poll shows the American people strongly support getting the job done. We all benefit from robust standards to cut our oil dependence, create American jobs, and protect wildlife and public health, and we stand ready to defend these gains from extremist, politically-motivated attacks.”

The new standards would raise car fuel efficiency standards 5 percent annually between 2017 and 2025, while light trucks would be required to reach an annual gain of 3.5 percent between 2017 and 2021 and 5 percent between 2022 and 2025.

“These standards will bring us vehicles that work in the out of doors and for the outdoors at once, at a time when fuel economy improvements are already happening in vehicles of all kinds. A 2011 Ford F-150 pickup truck is 21 percent more fuel-efficient than the same model just six years ago – and at the same time, it’s significantly more powerful, with 50 percent more horsepower and more torque,” said Zoe Lipman, the National Wildlife Federation’s senior manager for transportation and global warming solutions. “A driver who trades in an ’05 for an ’11 is effectively cutting 75 cents off the cost of every gallon at today’s prices and saving $700 a year on gas, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.”

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