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Obama Moves US in the Right Direction at 54.5 MPG

Date : Wed, 29 Aug 2012 11:04:04 -0400

For Immediate Release
August 28, 2012 Contact Jeff Tittel, 609-558-9100

Obama Moves US in the Right Direction at 54.5 MPG Today President Obama made a historic step to combat climate change by approving the 54.5 mile per gallon vehicle standards. These standards will not only decrease our greenhouse gas emissions, but will save American's millions of dollars and create thousands of new jobs. The Obama Administration has done something no other administration has done by raising these standards to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. These vehicle standards will be in effect for cars and trucks sold from 2017-2025. Given the high cost of gas right now, which maybe a long range situation electric vehicles and fuel efficient vehicle will become more cost effective. The 54.5 MPG is a step in the right direction to deal with our country's oil usage and pollution from car emissions.

"New Jersey Sierra Club wants to thank President Obama for adopting the 54.5 MPG rules. It is an important step forward by moving this country into the 21^st century. Pollution from automobiles is the largest source of pollution we face. This will not only help to decrease pollution, but help save us money through buying less fuel. It is good for the environment, economy, and our wallets," *said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.*"Given the high cost of gas right now this rule has been needed for a long time by allowing us to be more energy independent rather than drilling off the coast of New Jersey." According to the EPA, these standards will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2 billion metric tons equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of 474 coal-fired power plants. These standards will also save 4 billion barrels of oil over the lives of the vehicles sold in the nine years of standards, which more than double the amount we imported from OPEC in 2010 alone. Not only will this new standard be good for the environment, but it will be good for our wallets as well. A consumer driving an average 2025 vehicle will save more than $4,000 over the life of the vehicle, even after paying for the cost of new technology. With the current unstable and high gas prices only projected to increase this new vehicle standard will help save American families at the pump. We are also heading into a time where there are technological breakthroughs with electric vehicles (EVs) since there are more than a dozen different EVs and plug ins that are entering the market including the Volt, Tesla Sedan, Mitsubishi I, and Leaf.

"This vehicle standard is long overdue because of opposition from Big Oil for many years, but President Obama has stood up to them putting this new vehicle standard in place. We are finally moving out of first gear into second gear when it comes to CAFÉ standards and this is an important move forward," said Jeff Tittel. "The number one source of air pollution in New Jersey is from vehicles like cars, trucks, and buses. This standard will help us breathe easier by reducing the amount of carbon emissions from these sources." Hopefully this standard will spark consumers to buy more fuel efficient vehicles making electric vehicle charging stations a reality one day on the Turnpike or Parkway. A package of bills sponsored by Assemblyman Greenwald would place incentives on electric vehicle charging stations in addition setting up charging stations along the Turnpike, Parkway, and in shopping malls. We also are waiting for New Jersey to adopt the new clean car standard, which statewide would help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save residents money.

"There is technology already coming out and this will help advance that technology from hybrid-electric vehicles to full on electric vehicles. These types of vehicles are not only green for the environment, but will save their owners green as well," stated Tittel. For decades the Sierra Club has been a leader in making the cars and trucks we drive cleaner and more efficient. In 2007, the Sierra Club was influential in pressing Congress to pass the first increase in national fuel economy standards in 35 years. Last year the Obama Administration finalized historic vehicle standards, supported by automakers and environmentalists alike, that will increase the average efficiency of new passenger vehicles to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016. We applaud the Administration for acting to significantly cut our dependence on oil and reduce dangerous carbon pollution. At the same time, we must tell EPA and DOT that the details matter and that they must not allow excessive loopholes and auto industry giveaways to undermine the President's oil savings and emissions reductions goals.

"If we had done this years ago the American car industry would have not lost all their market shares to fuel efficient car companies overseas. This standard is not only good for the environment, but will move our economy forward by encouraging the building of more fuel efficient vehicles," said Jeff.

Kate Millsaps
Program Assistant
NJ Chapter of the Sierra Club
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Received on 2012-08-29 08:04:04

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