Today the Obama administration finalized new clean car standards that will double the fuel efficiency of today’s vehicles by 2025, drastically reducing emissions of carbon pollution and cutting oil use in New York and nationwide. The standards will cover new cars and light trucks in model years 2017-2025, and require those vehicles to meet the equivalent of a 54.5 miles-per-gallon standard by 2025. A recent joint analysis by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Union of Concerned Scientists projects that by 2030 in New York alone, the standards will cut carbon pollution from vehicles by more than 12 million metric tons—the equivalent of the annual pollution of 1.8 million of today’s vehicles—and save more than one billion gallons of fuel annually.
Together with the Obama administration’s standards covering vehicles in model years 2012-2016, the new standards and their projected cuts in carbon pollution represent the largest single step the U.S. has ever taken to tackle global warming.
“The Obama administration’s new clean car standards are a monumental leap forward in the must-win battle to tackle global warming and get New York off oil,” said Environment New York field organizer Eric Whalen. “Future generations may well look back on today as a decisive step toward breaking our destructive oil addiction.”
The NRDC/UCS analysis also projects that New Yorkers will save $2.2 billion at the gas pump each year in 2030 because of the fuel efficiency improvements required by the new standards.
Whalen pointed out that just as important as the standards themselves is the story of how they came to be. Long before the Obama administration took office, California and 13 other states—including New York—were developing and implementing their own state-level clean car standards. Beyond charting a path for pollution reductions for those states, the standards also pushed automakers to begin developing the cleaner cars that we see on the road today. That paved the way for the Obama administration to first set the first-ever federal carbon pollution standards for vehicles in model years 2012-2016, followed by today’s standards for model years 2017-2025.
“New Yorkers should take pride in knowing that the Obama administration is following New York’s lead in getting cleaner cars on the road,” said Whalen. “Without the leadership of New York and the other states that adopted state-level standards, we likely wouldn’t have any federal standards to celebrate today.”