New Clean Car Standards Hit the Streets

November 16, 2011
Michelle Robinson
Director of Clean Transportation Program

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?