WASHINGTON – February 8 - Clean cars programs adopted by 10 states will reduce global warming emissions by 64 million metric tons per year in 2020, an amount greater than the national emissions of more than 140 nations, according to a new report released today by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG). By 2020, the Clean Cars Programs in these states will eliminate as much carbon dioxide pollution annually as is produced by 63 coal-fired power plants generating enough power for nearly a quarter of U.S. homes.
“The pollution reductions from the clean cars standards in these 10 states alone will make a significant dent in the world’s global warming emissions,” said U.S. PIRG Clean Air & Energy Advocate Emily Figdor. “While the Bush administration muzzles scientists about the threats of global warming, these states are making real progress in reducing global warming pollution.”
Depending on how automakers choose to comply with the standards, the Clean Cars Program also could reduce gasoline consumption by as much as 7.2 billion gallons per year in 2020 – nearly as much as is consumed by all the vehicles in Florida in a year – and save consumers up to $16.7 billion annually at the pump in 2020.
“It’s a win-win situation. Reducing global warming pollution from cars will also improve our energy security by beginning to reduce our dependence on oil,” said Figdor.
The Clean Air Act allows states to choose between complying with federal vehicle emission standards and adopting the state of California’s more protective Clean Cars Program. To date, 10 states – California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington – have adopted the Clean Cars Program. Pennsylvania has also adopted elements of the Clean Cars Program and is now engaged in a rulemaking to update and enforce the standards.
These state efforts stand in stark contrast with the Bush administration’s rejection of common-sense solutions to reduce global warming pollution. In addition, the National Academy of Science is expected to unveil a report later this month that may recommend that Congress establish more red tape for states that want to adopt the Clean Cars Program and other measures to reduce air pollution and global warming.
“The federal government and automakers should not block this kind of progress,” said Figdor. “When it comes to action on global warming, our leaders in Washington should lead, follow, or get out of the way.”