New Fuel Efficiency Standards Showcase Benefits of Regulations

August 28, 2012

Contact: Gisele McAuliffe, Public Citizen, (202) 285-3340 or gmcauliffe@citizen.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The new federal fuel economy standards released today highlight the immense benefits of regulations on the U.S. economy, national security, family budgets and the environment. The rule significantly boosts average automobile efficiency from the current goal of 35.5 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2016 to 54.5 mpg by 2025.1 Over the life of the program, it will save consumers $1.7 trillion at the pump, reduce oil consumption by 2.2 million barrels a day and cut greenhouse gas emissions by six billion metric tons.1

There are many benefits from these standards, including:

SAVINGS FOR FAMILIES: A family that purchases a new vehicle in 2025 will save $8,200 in fuel costs when compared with a similar vehicle in 2010.1

CLEANER ENVIRONMENT: The standards will eliminate 6 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide1, a primary greenhouse gas. Reduced greenhouse gas emissions will lessen the effects of climate change, such as unprecedented droughts and heat waves.

GOOD FOR U.S. ECONOMY AND SMALL BUSINESS: The vast majority (87 percent) of small business owners say improving innovation and energy efficiency will increase their prosperity. Indeed, 76 percent support the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of carbon emissions, and 80 percent support increasing fuel efficiency standards even beyond those included in the new rule—to 60 mpg by 2025.2

HAILED BY U.S. AUTO INDUSTRY: Ford Company, General Motors and the United Auto Workers all say the new fuel efficiency standards are good for the American auto industry because they will spur innovation and meet public demand for more fuel-efficient cars. According to GM’s Dan Ackerson, the new standards “are a win for American manufacturers.”3 Ford Company’s Mark Fields said, “Higher gas prices are spurring people to buy vehicles because they want vehicles that get better fuel economy.”4 Sylvia Johnson, Ph.D. of the United Auto Workers Union (UAW) said: “The United Auto Workers (UAW) strongly supports the new regulations; it was also supported by environmental groups, industry, and labor. The new standards serve as a great example of what we can achieve as a nation when we work together.”

STRONGER ENERGY SECURITY: By 2030, the new fuel efficiency standards will reduce U.S. foreign oil imports by some 12 billion barrels,1 reducing our dependence on foreign oil by one-third as compared to today.

Despite the significant benefits of these and other standards and safeguards, several current legislative proposals – the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, the Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act, and the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) – would stop crucial new rules from being adopted. And incredibly, some special interest industry groups continue to produce false “reports” attacking public protections.

None of the benefits Americans will reap from the new fuel efficiency standards would occur in the absence of government regulations. Health, safety, environmental, financial, and other safeguards make our country stronger and safer – and the public relies on and supports them.

For reactions to the new fuel-efficiency standards from members of the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards, please contact:

Isaac Shapiro
Economic Policy Institute
Washington, D.C.
ishapiro@epi.org
Office: 202-775-8810

Michele Martin
United Auto Workers Union
Detroit, Mich.
mmartin@uaw.net
Office: 313-926-5298

Roland Hwang
Natural Resources Defense Council
San Francisco, Calif.
rhwang@nrdc.org
Cell: 510-334-0804

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The Coalition for Sensible Safeguards is an alliance of consumer, small business, labor, scientific, research, good government, faith, community, health, environmental, and public interest groups, as well as concerned individuals, joined in the belief that our country’s system of regulatory safeguards provides a stable framework that secures our quality of life and paves the way for a sound economy that benefits us all. For more information about the coalition, go to www.sensiblesafeguards.org.