After a long, political battle, both on Capitol Hill and in Detroit, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Obama administration have confirmed new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for all cars made between 2017 and 2025. 

The final ruling, originally due two weeks ago but delayed because of continued political wrangling, will require average fuel economy of all new cars and trucks sold in the U.S. to reach 54.5 mpg by 2025.

Speaking at a press conference earlier today, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood proudly announced the new standards. 

Los Angeles Smog

Los Angeles Smog

“Today is a monumental day for the U.S. people,” he said at a White House Conference moments ago. “This will cut oil consumption by 12 billion barrels,” he explained.

“President Obama understands that when consumers have the option to save fuel, everyone wins,” he continued. “Under today’s standards, Americans will have the choice of buying the kind of vehicle they want. Everyone wins when we reduce fuel use and cut carbon emissions.”

“We’ll lead the world in building the cars and trucks of the future,” said Lisa P. Jackson, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator. “These new standards ensure that the progress we’ve seen so far will continue for years to come,“ she added.

Cars built under the new standards will emit half as much greenhouse gas as current models, Jackson explained, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by a massive 6 billion metric tons. 

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson

Although the new standards will increase the price of new cars by around $1800 by 2025, current analysis suggests that the improvement in fuel economy could net U.S. drivers an average $8,000 in gasoline savings per car when compared with a similar model from 2010.

This equates to a nationwide saving by 2025 equivalent of $1.7 trillion of gasoline per year.

We commend the Obama administration, the auto industry, and environmental organizations for working together to bring about this historic leap in fuel efficiency.  The new standard of 54.5 mpg by 2025 for cars and light trucks will effectively double fuel efficiency and provide many benefits to drivers and the country” said Phyllis Cuttino, Director of the Clean Energy Program at Pew Environment Group, a non-profit group that works to promote clean energy economies and ecological practices through pragmatic, science-based policies.

Our nation will be more secure, our environment will be cleaner, and consumers will have more money in their pockets as a result of the new rule,” she continued. 

Under the new ruling, an estimated 570,000 jobs could be created in the U.S auto industry, as automakers strive to find new ways to build ever-efficient cars. 

“This helps drive innovation,” said Jackson. “Innovation is the sweet spot where our economic and environmental needs meet.”


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