Portland, Maine – The Obama administration today officially proposed new clean car standards that represent the biggest step the U.S. has ever taken to get off oil and tackle global warming. The standards would require cars and light trucks in model years 2017-2025 to meet a fleet-wide average global warming pollution standard equivalent to 54.5 miles per gallon. This proposal builds off the leadership of Maine and 13 other states who previously adopted state-level clean car standards.
“The Obama administration’s clean cars proposal represents the biggest step ever taken to end America’s addiction to Big Oil,” said Andrew Francis, Field Organizer with Environment Maine. “By making the cars and trucks of the future cleaner and more fuel efficient, these standards will reap big benefits for Maine’s environment, our health and our economy.”
By 2030 the proposed standards would reduce annual global warming pollution by 280 million metric tons, roughly equivalent to shutting down 70 coal fired power plants for one year.i In addition, in the same amount of time, the standards would cut oil use by as much as 23 billion gallons per year – an amount equivalent to our imports from Saudi Arabia and Iraq in 2010. In Maine alone, the proposed standards would generate annual savings of $189 million—or $329 per family—even after accounting for the cost of new technology, and would create 3,200 jobs by 2030.ii
Moving forward, the Obama administration is expected to conduct a public comment period and hold public hearings to gauge public opinion of the new standards, before finalizing the standards next year.
“We look forward to helping demonstrate broad support for the strongest possible standards, and keeping them free of loopholes that would take away from the environmental and economic benefits for Maine,” concluded Francis.
Environment Maine is a citizen-based environmental advocacy organization working to preserve Maine’s open spaces, protect clean air and water, and steer the state toward a clean energy future. www.environmentmaine.org
i. Union of Concerned Scientists and Natural Resources Defense Council, “Saving Money at the Gas Pump,” September, 2011, available athttp://www.go60mpg.org/docs/NRDC_UCS-State_by_State_Savings-FINAL_9-11.pdf.
ii. Ceres, “More Jobs Per Gallon,” 2011, available at http://www.ceres.org/press/press-releases/more-jobs-per-gallon.