May 19, 2009
2:10 PM

CONTACT: Environment America

Emily Figdor,
202-744-8204 (c),
202-683-1250 (o)

Cleaner Cars to Hit the Fast Lane as a Result of State and Presidential Leadership

WASHINGTON - May 19 - President Obama will announce today that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation will establish a uniform federal standard to reduce global warming pollution from cars and light trucks and improve vehicle efficiency.  The standard, which will be the first ever federal global warming standard for vehicles, will largely mirror the standard already adopted by California and 13 other states.
“We’re thrilled by this announcement to put cleaner cars on the road.  President Obama is proving himself behind the wheel in the race to a clean energy economy.  This historic action will reduce our nation’s dependence on oil, save consumers money at the pump, and cut global warming pollution.  This is what leadership looks like,” said Environment America Federal Global Warming Program Director Emily Figdor.
The standard will reduce global warming pollution from new vehicles by 30 percent and achieve an average fuel economy of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016 – four years earlier than under current law.  According to the White House, the program will save 1.8 billion barrels of oil and reduce global warming pollution by 900 million metric tons, which is equivalent to eliminating the pollution from 177 million of today’s cars or 194 coal plants. 
“Environment America applauds California and the 13 other states that spearheaded the drive for cleaner cars.  We wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for their trailblazing efforts to reduce our oil dependence and work to solve global warming,” concluded Figdor.
* Environment America is a federation of state-based environmental groups that worked to adopt many of the state clean cars standards.  To speak with state experts on the importance to the state of addressing global warming pollution through cleaner cars, contact Jen Mueller at (202) 683-1250 or
* Passenger vehicles are the second largest source of global warming pollution nationwide.
* In 2005, California adopted first-of-their-kind standards requiring cars and light-duty trucks to limit their global warming pollution.  A total of 13 other states—Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington—have adopted the tailpipe standards.  Several additional states are actively considering adopting the standards.
* In 2007, Congress passed the first increase in fuel economy standards in 32 years; those standards require an average fuel economy of 35 mile-per-gallon by 2020.


Environment America is a federation of state-based, citizen-funded environmental advocacy organizations. Our professional staff in 27 states and Washington, D.C., combines independent research, practical ideas and tough-minded advocacy to overcome the opposition of powerful special interests and win real results for the environment. Environment America draws on 30 years of success in tackling environmental problems.


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