Obama Admin. Finalizes Historic Clean Car Standards

Standards Will Slash Pollution and Cut Oil Use in Minnesota

Environment Minnesota

Minneapolis—Today the Obama administration finalized new clean car standards that will double the fuel efficiency of today’s vehicles by 2025, drastically reducing emissions of carbon pollution and cutting oil use in Minnesota and nationwide.  The standards will cover new cars and light trucks in model years 2017-2025, and require those vehicles to meet the equivalent of a 54.5 miles-per-gallon standard by 2025.  A recent joint analysis by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Union of Concerned Scientists projects that by 2030 in Minnesota alone, the standards will cut carbon pollution from vehicles by more than 4.6 million metric tons—the equivalent of the annual pollution of 701,000 of today’s vehicles—and save 395 million gallons of fuel. 

Together with the Obama administration’s standards covering vehicles in model years 2012-2016, the new standards and their projected cuts in carbon pollution represent the largest single step the U.S. has ever taken to tackle global warming. 

“The Obama administration’s new clean car standards are a monumental leap forward in the must-win battle to tackle global warming and get Minnesota off oil,” said Environment Minnesota Director Ken Bradley.  “Future generations may well look back on today as a decisive step toward breaking our destructive oil addiction.” 

The NRDC/UCS analysis also projects that Minnesotans will save $905 million at the gas pump in 2030 because of the fuel efficiency improvements required by the new standards.  

More than 282,000 Americans submitted comments in support of the standards as they were being developed, and they enjoy the support of the major automakers, consumer groups and the environmental community.  Many opinion leaders in Minnesota have spoken out in support of the standards, including Environment Minnesota, who was joined by PlugInConnect Jukka Kukkonen in applauding today’s announcement.

“The Obama Administrations leadership on improving automobile fuel efficiency is critically important for reducing our dependency on imported oil, cutting global warming pollution and will provide a better America for future generations,” said Kukkonen. 

Ken Bradley pointed out that just as important as the standards themselves is the story of how they came to be.  Long before the Obama administration took office, California and 13 other states were developing and implementing their own state-level clean car standards.  Beyond charting a path for pollution reductions for those states, the standards also pushed automakers to begin developing the cleaner cars that we see on the road today.  That paved the way for the Obama administration to first set the first-ever federal carbon pollution standards for vehicles in model years 2012-2016, followed by today’s standards for model years 2017-2025. 

“Without the leadership of the states that adopted state-level standards, we likely wouldn’t have any federal standards to celebrate today,” said Environment Minnesota Director Ken Bradley.

Environment Minnesota is a state-wide citizen based environmental advocacy organization working for clean air, clean water, and open space. www.EnvironmentMinnesota.org