Obama Administration Proposes Historic Clean Car Standards

Media Releases

Environment Rhode Island

Providence, RI – Today the Obama administration 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 standard equivalent to 54.5 miles per gallon. This proposal builds on the leadership of Rhode Island and 13 other states who have previously adopted clean car standards at the statewide level.

“The Obama administration’s clean cars proposal represents the biggest step ever taken to end America’s addiction to oil,” said Channing Jones, Field Associate with Environment Rhode Island. “By making the cars and trucks of the future cleaner and more fuel efficient, these standards will reap substantial benefits for Rhode Island’s environment, our health, and our economy.”

By 2030, the proposed standards would reduce annual global warming pollution by 280 million metric tons, roughly comparable to shutting down 70 coal fired power plants for one year.[1] In addition, over 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 Rhode Island alone, the proposed standards would generate annual savings of $148 million—or $330 per family—even after accounting for the cost of new technology.[2]

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.

“For Rhode Islanders who want to raise their voices in support of getting off oil, these clean car standards and this public comment period offer the best opportunity in years,” said Jones. “We look forward to helping demonstrate broad support for the strongest possible standards, and keeping them free of loopholes that would undercut the environmental and economic benefits for Rhode Island.”


[1] These figures are from an analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists and Natural Resources Defense Council. The projected annual global warming pollution reduction of 280 million metric tons in 2030 is equivalent to avoiding the annual emissions of 72 coal-fired power plants (assuming 3.9 million metric tons of pollution annually per power plant). The projected gasoline savings of 23 billion gallons of gasoline in 2030 are roughly equivalent to the 2010 U.S. imports from Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

[2] “More Jobs Per Gallon.” Ceres, 2011. http://www.ceres.org/press/press-releases/more-jobs-per-gallon