Last week, the US Environmental Protection Agency made the official decision to keep in place a set of 2012 fuel efficiency rules requiring car and truck manufacturers to continue improving vehicles through 2025. The ultimate goal of the regulations is to have cars and light-duty trucks on the market that can reach 54.5 miles per gallon. Not only will this help slash carbon emissions and reduce air pollution, it also stands to save Americans an average of $4000 at the pump.
The 2012 fuel efficiency standards were initially created with a midterm review in 2017 so regulators could evaluate them for feasibility going forward. Last year we saw the first hints that they might be extended when the EPA and National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration released a technical assessment report that showed automakers could easily meet and exceed the standards in question. In fact, some have already produced vehicles that exceed the requirements.
This new decision further solidifies President Obama’s commitment to reducing fossil fuel consumption and climate pollution. Over time, these standards are expected to eliminate six million metric tons of greenhouse gas pollution, reduce oil use by 12 billion barrels, and save consumers a total $1.7 trillion in fuel costs.
Tom Steyer, President of NextGen Climate, praised the decision in a statement on Friday: “By confirming stronger emission standards for cars and trucks, President Obama has taken another historic step to clean our air, protect our health, and keep America moving towards a strong clean energy economy. These standards help address the largest source of harmful greenhouse gas emissions and create a major opportunity for innovation to expand and transform our transportation sector. President Obama’s move will strengthen our economy, create jobs, and save Americans money at the pump. We will work to hard to defend this progress and block the Trump Administration’s attempts to put corporate interests ahead of American interests.”