Sierra Club Calls New Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Labels an Improvement

The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a new design for vehicle fuel efficiency labels with more comprehensive information on cars and trucks sold in the U.S.  The newly designed labels include easy-to-read comparisons on dangerous smog and carbon pollution and a calculation of long-term savings or expense for consumers at the pump.  However, the labels fail to use an easier to read grade-letter system or specify emissions from charging electric vehicles. The EPA’s new website on the labels allows consumers to explore the new information and customize the data to their region.  

In response, Ann Mesnikoff, Director of the Sierra Club’s Green Transportation Campaign, issued the following statement:  

“With today’s announcement, the Environmental Protection Agency missed an opportunity to give consumers the clearest design possible through letter grades for new cars and light trucks. The letter grade was a winner with our members and supporters but we are deeply disappointed that EPA has given into the auto industry’s push against clear and easy-to-read labels for consumers. We are also disappointed that the new labels fail to inform consumers on the emissions caused by charging electric vehicles.  

“Overall, the new labels are a good step toward smarter and clearer labeling for consumers – the first improvement in decades. Smart labels make smart consumers and it’s important that consumers have information that will help them make the right choices and save at the pump and cut our addiction to oil. 

 “The new label includes important new additions such as the five-year fuel savings comparison and detailed information on dangerous smog and carbon pollution – giving consumers tools to make informed decisions in the showroom. 

 “With $4 a gallon gas set to cause Americans pain at the gas pump this Memorial Day weekend, it is critical that the Administration stand up to the auto industry and cut global warming pollution by 6% per year and ensure new cars and light trucks average at least 60 miles per gallon by 2025. The strongest standards the Administration is considering will save Americans a net of $370 billion more at the pump through 2030 than the weakest option favored by the auto industry. Strong standards will mean real savings for American families at the pump, a significant reduction in life-threatening pollution, job creation and American innovation that will move our nation beyond oil.”

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