Increasing Fuel Economy Standards Would Be a Giant Leap Forward
The Obama administration’s proposed fuel economy standards for 2017 to 2025 passenger vehicles are a “giant step forward,” according to Luke Tonachel, a senior analyst in the Energy and Transportation program at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Tonachel testified about the proposed standards, which would require passenger vehicles for 2017 to 2025 to achieve 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg), during a public hearing in Detroit on January 17, the first of three hearings on the standards held this month. The proposed standards are expected to be put in place by next summer.
“Without the standards, we will unnecessarily send $350 billion overseas to OPEC and other oil producing countries. We will also pad the revenues of the oil industry by another $150 billion,” Tonachel pointed out. The proposed standards means that the $500 billion will be invested “back into our economy and create almost 500,000 new jobs while cutting carbon pollution by the equivalent of 76 coal power plants.”
Hillary Sinnamon of the EDF testified at the Detroit hearing that increasing passenger vehicle standards “is one of the most effective things we can do to reduce our dependence on oil, and will likely be one of President Obama’s greatest climate and energy security legacies.”
UAW President Bob King said at the hearing, “Adopting the proposed rules will give an additional boost to the revival of the auto industry.”
The proposed standards, combined with the standards for 2012 to 2016 model year (35.4 mpg) vehicles finalized in 2010, would reduce oil consumption by an estimated 12 billion barrels, reduce carbon emissions by more than six billion metric tons, and provide $1.7 trillion in national fuel savings, and would save consumers more than $4,000 over the life of their vehicle, according to the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
A joint report by the NRDC, United Auto Workers (UAW) and the National Wildlife Federation released last August stated that the proposed standards would reduce oil dependence in the U.S. and create jobs.
Photo credits: Flickr user, M 93