Americans Can Breathe Easier with New Fuel Economy Standards

Billions in Oil Savings Help Households, Cut Need for Risky Energy Projects

11-17-2011 // Miles Grant
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The Obama administration has unveiled new fuel economy and emissions rules for light duty vehicles. The Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration guidelines cover model years 2017-2025 and begin the formal rule-making process of the agreement in principle announced in July. The standard will be open for additional public comment for 60 days.

“Americans can breathe easier. The win-win car and light truck standards proposed by the Administration today mean cleaner air and better protection for wildlife and America’s natural resource heritage, while taking major steps forward for America’s energy and economic security,” said Joe Mendelson, director of global warming policy for the National Wildlife Federation. “These deep oil savings give us the freedom to choose the foreign and domestic energy projects that best protect America’s economy, security, land and wildlife for our children’s future, while clean innovative auto manufacturing is building US jobs and cutting pollution.”

The proposed standards will nearly double fuel economy and deeply cut carbon pollution for America’s cars and light trucks through 2025. Taking the recently enacted 2012 and 2014 car and heavy truck standards together with the 2017-2025 proposal, new, clean and advanced cars and trucks will cut US oil consumption by 3.4 million barrels a day. That’s more oil than we get from all of the Persian Gulf and Venezuela and more than three times the capacity of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline project delayed last week.

Improved fuel economy means car and truck owners will individually save thousands over the life of their vehicles, and America as a whole will save tens of billions of dollars per year. The proposal for the next phase of the Light Duty National Program follows a framework released in July that garnered the support of industry, labor, and consumer groups.

“This is a win-win-win scenario. We look forward to strong final enactment of the standard in 2012 to secure these gains for all Americans,” said Mendelson. “The proposal, which would meet both fuel economy and carbon pollution requirements under the Clean Air Act, shows that America can still come together around innovation, prosperity, security and natural resource protection.”

Learn more about how fuel efficiency rules can benefit consumers in NWF’s recent Trucks That Work report.

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