Obama Kickstarts Process for Truck and Car Fuel Economy, Emissions Standards

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Elliott Negin
Media Director
202-331-5439
enegin@ucsusa.org

Obama Kickstarts Process for Truck and Car Fuel Economy, Emissions Standards

WASHINGTON - President Obama's announcement today regarding fuel economy and
emissions standards for both passenger vehicles and heavy-duty trucks
was welcomed by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Setting strong
standards for all classes of motor vehicles would help curb U.S. oil
dependence, create new jobs, reduce the heat-trapping emissions that
drive global warming, and save consumers billions of dollars at the
pump.

According to today's announcement, the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Transportation (DOT), and
the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will start a process that
will set the next round of fuel economy and global warming tailpipe
standards for cars and light trucks. The historic standards finalized
last month, which cover new vehicles through model year 2016, provide
the foundation for the new standards. Meanwhile, President Obama
announced that EPA and DOT will work together to set the first-ever
national fuel economy and tailpipe pollution standards for medium- and
heavy-duty vehicles. 

"Success is contagious," said Brendan
Bell, a federal policy analyst with UCS's Clean Vehicles Program.
"Today's announcement builds on the existing program and could deliver
even greater oil savings, pollution reductions, and consumer savings in
the future." 

Just a year ago, President Obama announced a
landmark agreement supported by states, the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA), the Department of Transportation (DOT), automakers and
public interest groups that led to the largest increase in fuel economy for cars and light trucks in more than 30 years, as well as the first federal global warming tailpipe pollution standards.

Today's
announcement takes those standards to the next step by establishing a
process for setting the next round of combined fuel economy and global
warming tailpipe pollution standards for passenger cars and light-duty
trucks. The standards would apply to new vehicles sold in model years
2017 and beyond.  According to UCS analysis, raising the average
fleetwide fuel economy of new vehicles to 55 miles per gallon (mpg) by
2030 would reduce oil consumption by 3.9 million barrels per day in
that year, save consumers $158 billion -- even after accounting for the
cost of new technology -- and cut heat-trapping emissions by 661
million metric tons of carbon-dioxide-equivalent.

"This year,
the United States finalized the largest increase in fuel economy for
cars and light trucks in more than 30 years," said Jim Kliesch, a
senior engineer with UCS's Clean Vehicles Program. "Building on that
success could put every American driver behind the wheel of a
significantly cleaner car."

President Obama also announced a
process to set the first-ever fuel economy and global warming tailpipe
pollution standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The EPA and DOT
will work together to draft the standards, which will cover vehicles
such as delivery vans, concrete mixers, and freight trucks. A recent report
by UCS and CALSTART found that increasing such vehicles' fuel economy
could create as many as 124,000 jobs nationwide and save truckers and
consumers $24 billion through reduced fuel costs in 2030.

"Making
heavy-duty trucks go farther on a gallon of fuel is good for the
economy," said Don Anair, a senior engineer with UCS's Clean Vehicles
Program and co-author of the truck report. "Putting fuel saving
technologies to work will create tens of thousands of jobs and allow
truckers to keep on truckin' while saving at the pump."

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The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.

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