Thousands of Americans voiced their support for new clean car standards in a public comment period that closed today. Close to 900 community leaders and Maryland citizens submitted comments applauding the standards, including dozens of members of the Maryland General Assembly and State Senate showed their support as well.
The standards 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 carbon pollution standard equivalent to 54.5 miles per gallon. This proposal builds off the leadership of Maryland and 13 other states which previously adopted state-level clean car standards.
“Marylanders have shown they are ready to accelerate toward cleaner, more fuel-efficient cars and trucks,” said Sarah Bucci, Federal Field Organizer with Environment Maryland. “Making the cars and trucks of the future cleaner and more fuel efficient will drive us away from oil—while reaping big benefits for Maryland’s environment, our health and our economy.”
In addition to participating in the public comment period, hundreds of citizens participated in three public hearings across the country. Dozens of elected officials, veterans, public health officials, faith leaders, small business owners, consumer advocates, and environmentalists testified in support of these historic standards.
The standards will cut oil use in the state by 484 million gallons and reduce global warming pollution by 5.7 million metric tons, according to an analysis from the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The analysis also found that the new proposed standards for cars and light trucks in model years 2017-2025 would in 2030 save $960 million annually at the pump, and save the average Maryland family $365 at the gas pump in 2030.
The Obama administration is expected to finalize the standards this summer.