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March 29, 2013

Obama Administration Moves Forward with Cleaner Tailpipe Standards

Traffic2Today, the Obama administration is expected to release new cleaner tailpipe standards that will reduce smog-forming pollution, save lives and improve public health.

These new safeguards will require that oil refineries reduce the sulfur content of gasoline and that automakers use advanced technology to slash tailpipe emissions of health-threatening air pollution.

Today, more than one in three American children live where air is dangerous to breathe because of smog, particulate matter, and other hazardous pollutants, much of which come from the tailpipes of our cars and trucks.

By lowering the sulfur content of gasoline, the "Tier 3" cleaner tailpipe standards have the potential to cut major contributors to smog-forming ozone and pollution - nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds. In 2017, when these standards take effect, they will reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide (a smog creating pollutant) by 260,000 tons per year, the equivalent of taking 33 million cars off the road.

This change has the potential to prevent more than 400 premature deaths and 52,000 lost workdays each year. The annual savings in health costs of these standards will be over $5 billion in 2020 and $10 billion in 2030.

In addition to these health benefits, these standards will create 24,500 construction jobs over three years and over 5,000 long-term plant operation jobs. Overall, the cleaner tailpipe standards will add $6.1 billion to the U.S. GDP over the three-year investment period.

These standards are being released the same week as a new European study reporting that breathing in car exhaust is as harmful to children as breathing second-hand smoke, highlighting the even more urgent need for cleaner tailpipes here in the U.S. The "Tier 3" cleaner tailpipe standards will have immediate, far-reaching impacts on reducing emissions from cars and drastically improving the air we breathe.

Automakers, public health groups, the United Auto Workers, and environmental groups have all come together in support of cleaner tailpipe standards. These standards will save lives, clean up our air, and create jobs.

-- Jessica Eckdish, Beyond Oil Campaign

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