Sierra Club Applauds Action to Set New Vehicle Standards

WASHINGTON, DC–(ENEWSPF)–October 1, 2010.  Today the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation announced the intent to set fuel economy and global warming pollution standards for vehicles in model years 2017-2025.

Statement of Sierra Club Green Transportation Director Ann Mesnikoff

We applaud Administrator Lisa Jackson and Secretary Ray LaHood for continuing to increase fuel efficiency and reduce global warming pollution for cars and trucks.  With higher gas prices always on the horizon, making cars go further on a gallon of gas is a no-brainer.  The oil disasters this past summer in the Gulf the Kalamazoo River add urgency to setting strong standards to help break our dirty and dangerous addiction to oil.

Today’s action builds on the Obama Administration’s announcement last April of the historic 2012-2016 program that drives up fuel economy to 34.1 miles per gallon.

We welcome the announcement today that EPA and DOT can set a 6% per year annual decrease in global warming pollution for new vehicles between 2017-2025..Along with NRDC, Union of Concerned Scientists and Environment America, the Sierra Club continues to call on the administration to set a standard of at least 60 mpg by 2025 and a global warming pollution standard of 143 grams per mile. The groups jointly have established to promote this effort.

Despite expected resistance from the auto industry, fuel saving technologies are available to get to, or surpass, 60 mpg in 2025.  Consumers will save far more at the pump than the technologies cost. There is no reason to aim lower.

EPA and DOT must follow through on this announcement by setting a 6% annual reduction in emissions.  The auto industry is being given plenty of time to put technology to work. With the government’s help, the auto industry is getting back on its feet.  In order to thrive, it is time for the auto industry to step up and lead in ending our dependence on oil and slashing global warming pollution.

The greatest resource we have in this country is American ingenuity. New vehicle standards will ensure we put that resource to work to meet President Obama’s goal of making American a leader in developing clean cars and trucks and help end Big Oil’s strangle-hold on our economy.

Additionally, vehicle standards must be part of a national transportation plan that achieves greater reductions in our dependence on oil by investing in transportation choices for Americans.