FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 15, 2009
Washington, DC The Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today announced new fuel economy and greenhouse gas rules for vehicles, calling for a fleet average fuel economy of 35.5 miles per gallon and emissions of 250 grams per mile of CO2-equivalent-emissions by the 2016 model year.
Statement of Ann Mesnikoff, Sierra Club Green Transportation Campaign
"After decades of inaction, President Barack Obama directed the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety to work together to speed up the pace for cleaning up the nation's new cars and trucks. We applaud President Obama for this move to curb global warming and our dependence on oil while giving Americans better vehicle choices.
"This is the biggest single step the U.S. can take to curb global warming and save oil - we will work to ensure the final rule delivers on President Obama's promised oil savings and greenhouse gas reductions and sets a firm foundation for standards beyond 2016.
"The Administration's action will reduce U.S. global warming pollution by 950 million metric tons and save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of the vehicles sold in model years 2012-2016. The proposal includes the nation's first greenhouse gas standards, which will put the whole country on a trajectory to achieve the reductions California and 14 other states were poised to implement. It also accelerates compliance with the 35 mile per gallon fuel economy standards Congress set in the 2007 energy bill.
"The auto industry is fully capable of meeting these vehicle standards and keeping Americans safe. The industry is already using technologies from better engines, transmissions, and high strength, light weight materials to low rolling resistance tires to improve fuel economy. Just one technology -- Ford's Ecoboost engine yields a 20% fuel economy improvement.
"These standards will help consumers save at the pump, keeping dollars at home instead of going overseas to pay for oil -- both agencies note that the standards announced today provide benefits of as much as $250 billion.
"Americans want more fuel efficient vehicles, as they showed in the Cash for Clunkers program. These new standards will ensure that consumers will have better choices across the entire vehicle fleet, from SUVs to minivans to cars. "