Clean Cars Would Slash Oil Use and Pollution this Summer

New reports shows New York would use 744 million fewer gallons, average NY family would save $400, in summer alone

Environment New York Research & Policy Center

ALBANY – As New Yorkers get ready for summer road trips, an Environment New York Research & Policy Center report finds that cleaner, more fuel efficient cars would significantly slash oil consumption and global warming pollution across the state. The report, Summer on the Road: Going Farther on a Gallon of Gas, was released as the Obama administration is on the verge of finalizing fuel efficiency and global warming pollution standards for cars and light trucks that achieve a 54.5 mpg standard by 2025.

Clean cars can help New York families travel to the Adirondacks, Finger Lakes, and other beautiful places without creating as much of the pollution that threatens those very places.  As hot as this summer is shaping up to be, the last thing we need is more oil burning in our cars and more global warming pollution heating up our atmosphere.”

“Too many of the cars and trucks out there today still burn through gas like it was free, “said David VanLuven of Environment New York.  “We need to beat the heat – and beat the gas pump – by getting cleaner cars on the road with the Obama administration’s proposed standard.”

If the cars and trucks on the road today met the proposed 54.5 mpg standard, just in this summer they would:

  • slash statewide oil dependence by 744,731,931 gallons;
  • cut our global warming pollution by 6,567,182 metric tons this summer alone (that’s the equivalent of taking six coal plants offline for the whole summer); and
  • save the average New York family more than $400 at the pump.

New York’s oil dependence doesn’t just cost us at the pump—it threatens our shores with spills like the disaster in the Gulf, spews toxic pollution into our air, and contributes more to global warming than any other fuel.

New York State Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, who serves on the Assembly’s Environmental Conservation Committee, said, “The Obama administration’s proposed 54.5 mpg standard will mean less frequent trips to the gas pump for consumers, a cleaner environment, and less of the pollution that is contributing to destructive climate change.  I applaud the President and his administration for their leadership and advocates like Environment New York for their efforts to educate the public and spur our country to move beyond our expensive and destructive dependence on burning fossil fuels.  Let’s keep working together to build on this victory!”

“Drivers do not have to wait until 2025 to reap the benefits of cleaner cars,” noted VanLuven, citing the Natural Resources Defense Council’s related report, Relieving Pain at the Pump. “Thanks to the Obama administration’s first phase of standards that took effect this year, a bumper crop of fuel efficient cars have already started coming to the showroom floor.” The number of models getting more than 30 mpg has tripled since the first phase of standards for years 2012 through 2016 were announced.

President Obama proposed the new 54.5 mpg standard this past fall. The proposal has the support of 13 major automakers, as well as the United Auto Workers and numerous environmental and consumer groups. These national standards grew out of the leadership of 14 states, led by California and including New York, which previously adopted state-level standards.