Obama Admin. Finalizes Historic Clean Car Standards

Media Contacts

Standards Will Slash Pollution and Cut Oil Use in Texas

Environment Texas Research & Policy Center

AUSTIN – 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 Texas 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 Texas alone, the standards will annually cut carbon pollution from vehicles by 28.2 million metric tons—the equivalent of the annual pollution of 4.2 million of today’s vehicles—and save 2.4 billion 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 reduce our dependence on oil,” said Luke Metzger, Director of Environment Texas. “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 Texas will save $6.2 billion 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. Environment Texas was joined by Senator Rodney Ellis, Representative Mark Strama and GoingMyWay CEO Joseph Kopser in applauding today’s announcement.

“I applaud President Obama and his administration for taking the lead to secure our future through energy independence and a reduction in greenhouse gases,” said Sen. Rodney Ellis. “Our dependence on foreign oil and the threat of climate change are significant challenges facing our country, and the President’s actions represent an important step in the right direction.”

“More fuel efficient cars means fewer stops at the gas pump,” said Rep. Mark Strama. “By 2025, the standards are projected to save families an estimated $8,200 in fuel savings over the lifetime of a new vehicle. Improving the gas mileage of our vehicles is a smart, easy way to protect consumers against the volatility of gasoline prices that has done so much damage to family budgets and to our economy in recent years.”

GoingMyWay CEO Joseph Kopser applauds the new requirements for improved fuel economy for light duty vehicles. “Our National Energy Security policy must make advancements on multiple fronts. While GoingMyWay seeks to reduce the number of cars needed on the road, improved fuel standards will make a difference for those that still end up on the road. Reduced fuel consumption in the long term will result in financial savings allowing us to keep it here in the US to reinvest in new jobs and technological innovation.”

Metzger 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 Metzger.