Portland, Maine—The Obama administration today will finalize new clean car standards that will double the fuel efficiency of today’s vehicles by 2025, drastically reducing carbon pollution and cutting oil use in Maine and nationwide. The standards will cover new cars and light trucks in model years 2017-2025, and require those vehicles to average 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 in Maine alone the standards will cut carbon pollution by 1.12 million metric tons annually starting in 2030—the equivalent of the annual pollution from 170,000 of today’s vehicles—and save 95 million gallons of fuel each year.
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 Maine off oil,” said Environment Maine Director Emily Figdor. “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 Mainers will save $415 million at the gas pump in 2030 because of the fuel efficiency improvements required by the new standards.
More than 282,000 Americans submitted comments in support of the standards as they were being developed, and they enjoy the support of the major automakers, consumer groups and the environmental community.
Figdor pointed out that Maine played a big role in making today’s announcement possible. Long before the Obama administration took office, California, Maine, and 12 other states 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 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.
“Mainers should take pride in knowing that the Obama administration is following Maine’s lead in getting cleaner cars on the road,” said Figdor. “Without the leadership of Maine and the other states that adopted state-level standards, we likely wouldn’t have any federal standards to celebrate today.”
Environment Maine is a citizen-based environmental advocacy organization working to preserve Maine’s open spaces, protect clean air and water, and steer the state toward a clean energy future. www.environmentmaine.org