The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Elliott Negin,Media Director,

Analysis of New Obama Car Standard

Proposed Clean Car Standard Would Reduce Emissions, Curb Oil Dependence, Save Consumers Money, Science Group Says


The White House today released details of a plan to develop groundbreaking
regulations that would require the Environmental Protection Agency and
Department of Transportation to work together to dramatically reduce
heat-trapping emissions from the nation's cars and trucks.

from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) indicates that, compared
to staying at today's fuel economy and heat-trapping emissions levels,
implementing the standard outlined in the plan would:

U.S. oil dependence by about 1.4 million barrels of oil per day by
2020, nearly as much as we currently import from Saudi Arabia.

heat-trapping emissions by 230 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in
2020, equivalent to taking 34 million of today's cars and light trucks
off the road that year.

net savings to consumers of $30 billion in 2020, even after covering
the cost of technology improvements, based on a gas price of $2.25 per

--deliver $70 billion in net savings in 2020 if gas prices spike to $4 per gallon again.

candidate Obama went to Detroit, he told the automakers what they
needed to hear - they had been making bad choices, and as president, he
would steer a new course and revitalize the industry by bringing more
fuel efficient vehicles to market," said Michelle Robinson, director of
UCS's Clean Vehicles Program. "Now President Obama is delivering on his
promise to strengthen the auto industry, while reducing vehicle
pollution and our dependence on oil."

Kliesch, a senior engineer with the program, said automakers can use
off-the-shelf technology, including cleaner engines, more efficient
transmissions, better air conditioning systems and cleaner fuels, to
meet the standards. "This agreement is the breakthrough the nation
needs to cut carbon emissions and help consumers deal with volatile gas
prices," Kliesch said. "Automakers have the technology they need to
meet and beat these standards while saving consumers billions."

Friedman, the program's research director, said the proposal was a long
time in the making. "This is an historic day for clean cars in
America," he said. "President Obama has brokered a major agreement by
working with states, EPA, DOT, the auto industry and environmental
leaders. These first ever national global warming standards for cars
and trucks will help revolutionize the auto industry. Everyone involved
deserves credit for making history."

The announcement also protects state authority and paves the way for automakers to
drop their litigation against state standards. "Without aggressive
action from California and so many other states during the years when
political will was absent from Washington, the plan announced today
would not have been possible," said Eli Hopson, Washington
representative for the program.

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.