California partners with EPA and DOT on historic national clean cars standards

Environmental Defense Fund applauded the announcement by the Obama Administration proposing a second phase of federal greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles. The Administration collaborated closely with California and automakers to provide a clear regulatory future for industry and strong achievable standards for cleaner, more fuel-efficient cars and light trucks.

Widely supported by a diverse coalition of automakers and the United Auto Workers, states including California, businesses, consumers, veterans, health and environmental organizations, these standards will help create jobs, grow our economy, break our addiction to oil, save consumers trillions of dollars at the pump and dramatically cut climate change pollution.

“Fortunately, when it comes to climate and energy policies, what happens in California doesn’t stay in California. The Golden State’s leadership charting the path to cleaner cars that will make our nation more prosperous and secure have led to one of President Obama’s greatest energy and environmental successes,” said Derek Walker, EDF’s Director of Strategic Climate Initiatives. “Consumers and businesses are rightly concerned about our dependence on imported oil and rising energy prices. These standards will address those concerns, save them money and create a healthier environment. 

Together with existing clean car standards that were adopted in 2010, the proposed program will save consumers an estimated $8,200 in fuel savings over the lifetime of a new vehicle by 2025, for a total of $1.7 trillion in national fuel savings over the life of the program. The combined standards will reduce oil consumption by an estimated 2.2 million barrels a day by 2025 – more than our 2010 oil imports from the entire Persian Gulf. They will also reduce carbon dioxide pollution by over 6 billion metric tons over the life of the program – equivalent to emissions from the United States in 2010.

The new standards proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will apply to model year 2017 to 2025 passenger cars and light-duty trucks, improving fuel efficiency between 3.5 and 5 percent annually, and reaching a fleet-wide average of 54.5 miles per gallon in model year 2025 – equivalent to 163 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) per mile.

Some in Congress have been working to derail this broadly supported program that has clear and comprehensive benefits. Yet, more than 100 PhD economists, more than a dozen of the world’s largest automakers, 87 percent of small business owners and 77 percent of consumers believe that higher fuel efficiency standards will be good for America

The nation’s fleet of cars and light trucks consumes more than 360 million gallons of fuel per day and emits about 20 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas pollution. In December 2009, EPA found that greenhouse gases endanger human health and welfare. 

California and 13 other states – Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington – adopted state clean car standards that provided the foundation for national emission standards.

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