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

Environment Colorado

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 14 states, including New Mexico.

“We’re thrilled by this announcement to put cleaner cars on the road.  President Obama is putting the pedal to the metal in the race to a clean energy economy.  Not only will this action reduce our nation’s dependence on oil, but it jump starts the fight against global warming pollution.  This is what leadership looks like,” said Keith Hay, energy advocate for Environment Colorado.

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. 

“Global Warming threatens Colorado’s leading industries such as agriculture and outdoor recreation. The things people cherish most about Colorado are also at risk— our hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation.  Today’s decision puts Colorado further down the road to fighting global warming,” concluded Hay.

Background on the Clean Cars Program:

  • According to the state’s Colorado Climate Action Plan and analysis done by Environment Colorado in A Bueprint for Action, passenger vehicles are the second largest source of global warming pollution in Colorado. The Environment Colorado report can be downloaded from the following website:
  • Based on an earlier assessment of adopting this program nationwide, Colorado would see the following benefits: reduction in global warming pollution by 19.4 million metric tons, an amount equivalent to 3.6 million of today’s cars from Colorado’s roads.  In addition, the standard will reduce oil consumption by 2.2 billion barrels, saving drivers $4.2 billion at the pump.
  • 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.
  • 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.