Obama Announces New Fuel Efficiency Standards, Joined by Automakers
by Katie Greenhaw, 7/29/2011
President Obama today announced new fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks that are expected to produce savings for consumers, reduce U.S. oil dependence, and reduce air pollutants. Joined by executives from the top auto manufacturers in a rare showing of agreement, the president put forward new standards that would require cars and light trucks for Model Years 2017-2025 to achieve 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.
The administration’s full report details the fuel economy standards established under Obama's presidency. Taken together, the standards will save American families a total of $1.7 trillion in fuel, reduce oil consumption by an estimated 2.2 million barrels a day in 2025, save 12 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of the program, and cut "greenhouse gas emissions by more than 6 billion metric tons over the life of the program, while reducing pollutants like air toxics, cause soot, and smog."
The new standard, which is the largest cut in fuel consumption since the 1970s, received broad support. In developing the standard, the administration worked with auto companies, environmental and public interest groups, and the California Air Resources Board. Following Obama’s announcement, Autoblog was flooded with support from "everyone from the automakers to the Union of Concerned Scientists." NRDC wrote that the new standards are good for both national security and the environment, and could save U.S. consumers over $80 billion annually by 2030.
Today’s announcement shows that cooperation and ingenuity among government, public interest, and industry partners can produce positive outcomes. But before the effort is labeled a true success, the new standards must be implemented through binding, enforceable rules to ensure real progress in meeting efficiency goals.