The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Suzanne Struglinski, NRDC, 202-289-2387 or

Administration's Proposed Fuel Efficiency Plan Shows Promise

Pushing Cars to Cut Emissions and Reach 62 miles per gallon Will Create Jobs and Spur Innovation


New cars and light trucks would need to cut carbon dioxide emissions
and achieve fuel efficiency standards equivalent to at least 47miles per
gallon and as high as 62 miles per gallon by 2025 based on a proposed 3
to 6 percent rate of emissions improvement starting in 2017, according
to a briefing today by administration officials. Last May, President
Obama directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department
of Transportation to develop a joint proposal for the next round of
standards by September 30.

Natural Resources Defense Council Transportation Program
Director Roland Hwang said the higher standard will lead to greater
reductions in harmful emissions while making the U.S. auto industry more
competitive and increasing the number of high-quality manufacturing

"The Obama Administration is on the right path in recognizing
the need to use the Clean Air Act to improve emission efficiency
standards, but it should pursue the best option possible," Hwang said.
"The problem with setting the bar at just a 3 percent improvement per
year is that it puts the U.S. auto industry on a path towards
mediocrity. A 6 percent improvement, which translates into a 62
miles-per-gallon fuel efficiency standard, will really encourage
innovative ideas, create more jobs, and do more to put the country's
auto industry back in a leadership role. But beyond the jobs and
economic benefits, a stronger standard will help break our crippling
dependence on oil."

NRDC, along with 18 other environmental and scientist groups,
wants the administration to adopt an approach that will steadily
increase fuel economy standards to at least 60 mpg by 2025. Today's
announcement is the first step in a lengthy regulatory process before a
final rule is adopted in July 2012.

"The U.S. government bailed out Detroit; American taxpayers now deserve the biggest possible return on their investment," said Luke Tonachel,
NRDC vehicles analyst in New York. "Raising fuel economy to 62 miles
per gallon will result in twice as much oil savings and carbon pollution
reductions as 47miles per gallon. A 62 miles-per-gallon standard would
save drivers $100 billion, save 45 billion gallons of oil, and reduce
carbon pollution by 450 million metric tons by 2030."

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