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October 05, 2011

New Data: President Obama's Fuel Efficiency Standards Mean Big Savings

Traffic Anyone feel like saving more than $44 billion? Or saving 23 billion gallons of oil? Today the Sierra Club, as part of the Go 60mpg Coalition, announced both the national and state household, oil and pollution savings from raising fuel efficiency standards for new cars and light trucks to 54.5 mpg and setting a carbon pollution standard of 163 grams per mile in 2025. 

And that’s how good it gets: These standards, which will be proposed in November by the Obama Administration, will save Americans more than $44 billion in 2030 alone, save 23 billion gallons of oil in 2030 and reduce heat-trapping carbon pollution by 280 million metric tons.

These carbon pollution savings are the equivalent of having 40 million fewer vehicles on the road in that year.  If you prefer to think about shutting down dirty coal fired power plants, it’s equivalent to shutting down 72 of them for a year. 

We announced this data today at a press conference at a Rhode Island Chevy dealership with a dealer who believes that more fuel efficient cars including the new Volt will be the key to helping his dealership thrive. Not only do these standards keep money in our pockets, but it also bodes well for the car dealers who are watching the fuel efficient cars fly off their lots.

Our colleagues at the Union of Concerned Scientists and Natural Resources Defense Council broke down the oil, dollar and pollution savings state-by-state.  You can check out how much you would save with these standards, but here’s a taste.

Rhode Islanders, for example, would keep $148 million dollars in the ecnomy rather than spending it on oil.  Each household would save a net of $330 per year (here net means that the savings account for the cost of fuel saving technology that is on a new car).  To top it off, Rhode Islanders would save 76 million gallons of gasoline and help keep 900 million metric tons of global warming pollution out of the atmosphere.  

As noted above these standards are not final – but promise great benefits.  We’re calling on the Obama administration to avoid including loopholes and industry giveaways in the standards that would undermine consumer savings and pollution reductions. 

Cars and trucks that use less gas are a win-win for our economy and our environment. The Obama administration’s new fuel efficiency standards ensure 15 years of continuous progress to help save Americans money at the gas pump, create jobs, curb life-threatening pollution, and help move our country beyond oil.

-- Ann Mesnikoff, Director of the Sierra Club Green Transportation Campaign

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