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New Clean Car Standards Hit the Streets

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Today the Obama administration proposed new fuel efficiency and global warming pollution standards for model year 2017 through 2025 cars and light trucks. The move represents another critical step in reducing the nation’s oil consumption and harmful emissions from vehicles. UCS applauded this announcement, as I said in the press release we just put out, “If you love going to the gas station, you will hate these standards.” 

The Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency issued a joint Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would nearly double fuel efficiency standards for new vehicles by model year 2025 and cut their global warming pollution in half. At the same time, the California Air Resources Board outlined their plans to issue automobile global warming standards consistent with the federal proposal.

The agencies will be inviting public comment through the end of January and will be holding public hearings in Detroit, Philadelphia and San Francisco. We will be letting folks know how and when to weigh in. Your voice in support of keeping these standards strong and free of loopholes that would erode the oil, pollution and consumer benefits will be absolutely critical to a successful outcome.

The administration’s announcement comes on the heels of two polls that leave no room for doubt that  consumers and the small business community want cars and trucks that go farther on a gallon of gas and that government should set significantly higher standards to help create those choices in the marketplace. On top of that, they are willing to pay more for the technologies that will boost efficiency and reduce emissions across makes and models as long as they make that money back in fuel savings over time.

The proposed fuel efficiency and pollution standards are the next major step toward the clean car future we all want and deserve. They can be a win for energy security, a win for our pocketbooks, and a win for jobs and a revitalized auto industry. What is not to like?

Posted in: Energy, Fossil Fuels, Global Warming, Vehicles

About the author: Michelle Robinson has more than 25 years of experience in public policy and advocacy. She joined the Clean Vehicles program in 1992 and is a nationally recognized expert on state and federal transportation policy. See Michelle's full bio.

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3 Responses

  1. Mike Sauber says:

    As one who was employed in the automotive industry for the first half of my life, I kept waiting with excited anticipation for the new fuel efficient vehicles to come. Many broken promises later, I await the m,andate to do it and make our country more secure.
    With the Internal combustion engine wasting a minimum of 80% of the energy in a gallon of gasoline to waste heat and friction, I await the next phase of automotive powerplant, whether it be the electric motor or any other more sane approach.

    • Michelle Robinson says:

      Mike, you echo sentiments we’ve heard from others who have spent time working in the industry. We are finally on the verge of significant breakthrough standards that should not only maximize the efficiency performance of conventional gasoline engines, but support a stronger market introduction of advanced powertrains. The trick will be keeping the standards strong and holding the automakers accountable if they try to game the system. No more broken promises!!

  2. Henry C Hart says:

    These moves are wins for us home and commuter drivers. They cut our dependence on unsettled overseas oil sources. Of course they pull back our cost of living. But they also strongly boost our economic competitiveness.

    True, a good day for the future of them automobile in America.
    BUT BY EUROPEAN STANDARDS THIS IS JUST A START AT SAVING CARBON.

    They tax gas and diesel $3, $4 or $5 per gal. more than we. It makes the fuel sipping car the norm.