Obama ‘On the Right Road’ with More Stringent Fuel Economy Standards to Reduce Oil Dependence, Fuel Costs, Says Alliance | Alliance to Save Energy

Obama ‘On the Right Road’ with More Stringent Fuel Economy Standards to Reduce Oil Dependence, Fuel Costs, Says Alliance

Release Date: Friday, May 21, 2010

Washington, D.C., May 21, 2010 – President Obama’s three-pronged approach to increasing vehicle fuel efficiency, announced today, puts the nation further down the road to decreased U.S. oil dependence and lower fuel costs economy-wide, the Alliance to Save Energy said. The new fuel economy standards he is seeking for cars and light trucks will build on the already-robust standards announced a year ago that are expected to result in passenger vehicles attaining 35.5 miles per gallon over five years.

The Alliance praised the president for taking bold steps in three areas, as outlined in a White House ceremony attended by representatives of car and truck manufacturers, fleet operators, auto workers, labor leaders and state officials:

  • Directing the Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency to develop jointly the first standards to increase fuel efficiency and decrease emissions for medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses, starting with model year 2014;
  • Beginning development of even more stringent fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks, starting in 2017, in cooperation with the state of California; and
  • Pledging to work with the public and private sectors to develop and deploy the advanced infrastructure needed for plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles, as well as biofuels.

“We applaud President Obama’s announcement today, which not only pushes the envelope on fuel economy requirements for cars and light trucks, but also would extend efficiency standards, for the first time, to medium- and heavy-duty trucks,” said Alliance President Kateri Callahan. “With roughly one-fifth of our emissions attributable to these classes of vehicles, the effects of these fuel economy standards will be immediate and far-reaching.”

“We also commend the president’s consensus-building approach on the development of these standards and his pledge to collaboratively develop needed infrastructure that will ‘pave the way’ for more widespread use of low- and zero-emissions vehicles. All this will ensure that key stakeholders work together to implement the new policies,” she said.

“These three initiatives will go far in unleashing the power of energy efficiency in the U.S. transportation sector and deliver measureable benefits for our economy, our national security and our environment,” Callahan added. “We also join the president in urging Congress to act this year on energy and climate legislation as a way to further the nation’s progress towards a new clean energy economy.”

The president said the earlier standards will save drivers some $3,000 over the lifetime of each vehicle while reducing U.S. oil dependence by 1.8 billion barrels and cutting nearly a billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions over 2016-2020, which equates to taking 50 million cars off the road.