Promoting Clean Transportation
America uses 20 million barrels of oil a day – mostly to fuel our cars, trucks, and other transportation. Our demand for oil harms people and wildlife every day, and not just in the form of risky drilling projects, pipeline leaks and spills.
Accounting for more than 40 percent of US emissions, oil is our largest source of climate change causing carbon pollution. High global demand for oil means rising and volatile gas prices that drain money from our pocketbooks and jobs from our economy, while pollution harms air quality and public health.
More oil, whether foreign or domestic, will not solve these problems, but transportation innovation can. We have the technology and policy today to reduce our need for oil –and end our dependence altogether. Improved vehicle efficiency, electric cars and trucks, and modernized transit and planning mean Americans can cut their reliance on oil, slash spending on fuel, and boost the economy and security of our nation.
NWF works to ensure that the clean and innovative transportation technologies introduced today ensure a better, cleaner way of life for tomorrow.
This year, a diverse group of stakeholders applauded new landmark standards that will double the fuel economy of our cars, SUV’s and pickups by 2025. The latest standards improve the fuel efficiency of cars, SUV's and pickups built in 2017-2025. They follow successful standards for the years 2012-2016 which already bringing exciting efficient new cars and trucks to dealerships across America. The first ever standards for larger trucks were also enacted in 2011--ensuring cost, fuel and pollution savings for car and truck owners no matter what they drive. Together, these national standards will deliver huge cuts in carbon pollution and oil use, while saving families and businesses hundreds of billions and improving our economic and energy security. They show that we can roll back the carbon pollution that threatens wildlife and take serious steps to make oil spills a thing of the past.
Today we depend on petroleum for 95 percent of transportation fuel. Improving vehicle efficiency cuts our need for oil, but electric vehicles (EVs) break our dependence on oil and other liquid fuels completely. To combat climate change, clean up local air pollution, and build energy and economic security, we need to get EVs rolling throughout fleets and communities across the country.
EVs and plug-in electric vehicles (PHEVs) are in dealerships now, and more than 20 different electric vehicles will be introduced over the next few years. As more consumers choose these vehicles, over half the miles we drive could be electric by 2030.
Building the Next Generation of Clean Cars & Trucks in America
Strong new fuel economy standards don't just mean big benefits for wildlife and savings at the pump. Together with programs that encourage research and development, retooling, advanced manufacturing, and adopting fuel efficient technology, new efficiency standards are helping America win back its place building the most innovative vehicles in the world. These policies and investments also build jobs, more than 100,000 in auto and parts manufacturing and sales were created in 2011 alone.
NWF supports the Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Manufacturing Loan Program, which aids companies to retool and build the next generation of clean vehicles in the US and provides other incentives that speed innovation and adoption of advanced clean vehicle technologies.
NWF also works with community colleges and others to develop education and training programs that prepare workers to design, build, repair and service advanced clean vehicle technology.
Building Communities with 21st Century Transportation
Modernizing our transportation infrastructure and planning is important for:
- Improving public health
- Cutting pollution
- Reducing our dependence on oil
- Enhancing quality of life in cities and towns
- Spurring business growth
- Building jobs in manufacturing, construction and operation
America’s infrastructure is crumbling while nations like China rush ahead to build state of the art high speed rail, bus and subway systems. Just as the creation of the highway system reshaped America in the 20th century, NWF believes we have the opportunity now to build the infrastructure necessary to boost local economies and quality of life and to enable America to lead in the 21st century.
The transportation and budget choices made over the next year by Congress will determine whether Americans can have the clean, convenient transportation choices they need.
To learn more about NWF’s work to ensure that clean energy and transportation transition benefits all communities, read more on fair and equitable solutions to climate change.