Yesterday, the Obama administration announced new fuel economy and emission standards for cars and light trucks that represent a huge leap forward in reducing our dependence on oil and cutting global warming pollution. This progress wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of advocates and states across the country.
The average new car or light truck that you can buy today is likely to travel only 25.4 miles per gallon of gasoline. In just six years, new vehicles will average 35.5 miles per gallon. For consumers, that means spending thousands of dollars less on gasoline at the pump. For the nation, it means that we’ll reduce our gasoline consumption by 11.6 billion gallons in 2016 alone, half of the volume we currently import from Saudi Arabia.
The global warming pollution standard is historic: it is the first national limit on global warming pollution from any source. In 2016, global warming pollution will be 108 million metric tons lower than would otherwise be the case, equal to the emissions emitted by 21.4 million of today’s vehicles over the course of a year.
These federal standards are modeled on California’s Clean Cars Program, which was adopted by 13 other states since California adopted it in 2002. Those states managed to adopt California’s program only after lengthy legislative and regulatory fights, and winning a series of lawsuits filed by the auto industry. Over the years, Frontier Group has helped state advocates by documenting the benefits of the Clean Cars Program for individual states and the nation. Here’s a sampling of our work for Florida, Maryland, Washington and the nation.
Associate Director and Senior Policy Analyst, Frontier Group
Elizabeth Ridlington is associate director and senior policy analyst with Frontier Group. She focuses primarily on global warming, toxics, health care and clean vehicles, and has written dozens of reports on these and other subjects. Elizabeth graduated with honors from Harvard with a degree in government. She joined Frontier Group in 2002. She lives in Northern California with her husband and son.