Will Spur Jobs, Protect Wildlife, and Decrease Oil Dependence
Augusta, Maine — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s standards for vehicle fuel efficiency and climate-changing pollutants are set to become final. These new standards will double the number of miles we can drive on a gallon of gasoline for new cars, SUVs, and pickups sold in America by 2025, when these vehicles will travel an average of 54.5 miles per gallon of gasoline burned.
“These new car and truck efficiency standards are the single biggest step America has ever taken to cut our dependence on oil and the carbon pollution that causes climate change,” said Lisa Pohlmann, Executive Director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine. “The car efficiency standards announced today will cut gasoline costs in half, reduce our dependence on oil, lower emissions of dangerous global warming pollution and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs. These standards show that companies, workers, government, consumer and conservation interests can work together and find solutions to the biggest problems that face us today.”
“We’re replacing dependence on oil with high-tech engineering and manufacturing of more fuel efficient vehicles, which means cleaner air and more good jobs in America and more money to spend at home,” said Adam Lee, President of Lee Auto Malls. “Here in Maine alone, drivers will save 195 million gallons of gasoline and save $610 million a year when the standards take full effect. The new fuel efficiency standards give automakers their own road map for the future — providing certainty in the market, spurring innovation, and putting people to work. ” A recent independent study released by the Blue Green Alliance estimates the proposed fuel efficiency standard will spark auto industry investments and consumer savings that could generate 570,000 jobs nationwide.
The standards will reduce gasoline expenses in Maine by $860 million—even after the cost of fuel-savings technologies are included, the net savings will exceed $600 million. Gasoline prices in Maine are roughly double what they were in 2002, a cost which has hit family budgets and business profits hard, and making today’s announcement especially welcome.
The standards will cut global warming pollution nearly 600 million metric tons a year by 2030—that’s close to 10 percent of total U.S. global warming pollution from all sources today — or equal to the emissions from 85 million of today’s cars. In Maine, transportation emissions represent nearly half (45%) of Maine’s global warming pollution — the largest source by far. The new standards will reduce climate-changing carbon pollution in Maine by 2.4 million metric tons, a 14% reduction.
“Failing to take on clean energy and oil dependence in this way would have cost Maine people an extra $610 million per year,” said Pohlmann. “This kind of leadership is needed to tackle energy costs, spur economic innovation and protect the environment.”
Among the economic benefits of new fuel efficiency standards:
- The new standards are estimated to add half a million additional jobs to the economy by 2030 according to a new report by the Blue Green Alliance, and save Americans $140 billion a year.
- Failure to adopt these standards would have cost families and businesses an extra $8,000 over the life of a 2025 vehicle relative to the average car today, even after paying for the cost of new fuel-saving technology.
- The standards will reduce U.S. oil consumption by 3.1 million barrels of oil per day, which is more than all the oil we get today from Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Russia, according to joint analysis by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Union of Concerned Scientists.
- Fuel efficiency is already working. Over the past two and a half years, the auto sector has added over 200,000 direct jobs building and selling the next generation of clean cars and trucks, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A joint study by National Wildlife Federation, NRDC, and the UAW found 300 companies in 43 states today making components and technology that improves vehicle efficiency.
These studies and others, along with latest media and original stories of companies and workers building the next generation of clean car and truck technology are available at www.DrivingGrowth.org
The new standards will ensure fuel economy improvements in all types and sizes of vehicles, so people will save on fuel no matter what kind of vehicle they need.
A Consumer Reports survey in May found 79 percent of consumers support strong new federal fuel efficiency standards.