Clean Car Standards Save Money and Reduce Air Pollution

BY ON December 20, 2016

Woman giving thumbs up from driver's seat of car for Clean Car Standards

When you burn gasoline, you burn money. That’s why being able to get where you want to go and burn less gas and money doing it is such a no-brainer. That’s also why the Clean Car Standards are a no-brainer. Once the second phase of the standards go into effect in 2017, they’ll make it a lot easier for you to travel farther – and more cheaply – on every gallon of gasoline you burn.

The Clean Car Standards were originally instituted in August 2012. They were seen as an essential way to help Americans continue to drive their cars for work, chores or fun but save money and reduce their carbon footprint doing it. Burning one gallon of gasoline generates about 24 pounds of global warming emissions – 5 pounds per gallon emitted during oil drilling, refining and distributing gasoline to the pumps where you buy it, and 19 pounds emitted when you actually drive. The more MPG, or miles per gallon, your car gets, the better it is for your pocketbook and the planet, too.

The 2012 Clean Car Standards instituted higher MPG rates in two phases. Phase 1 ran from 2012-2016. The new standards kick in in 2017. By the time they’re ready for a fresh look in 2025, here’s what they should have accomplished:

  • You spend a lot less money on gas. The Clean Car Standards will nearly double the average fuel efficiency of new cars and light trucks. That means that, when compared to a typical vehicle on the road today, a new car buyer in 2025 will save between $6,000 and $8,000 over the lifetime of the vehicle, even after paying for more fuel-efficient technology.
  • America spends a lot less money drilling for oil. Without these standards, the U.S. would be spending nearly $2 billion every day trying to retrieve dirty, hard-to-reach oil. The Environmental Defense Fund projects that, as a nation, we’ll save 12 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of the 2012-2025 model year vehicles.
  • Our kids breathe cleaner air. Projections indicate that when both Phase I and Phase II of the Clean Car Standards are considered together, the program will result in 470 million metric tons of avoided emissions. That’s the equivalent to shutting down 136 typical coal-fired power plans for an entire year.
  • There’s a lot less climate change. See above. The Clean Car Standards can have the impact of shutting down one of our dirtiest sources of climate busting CO2.
  • We’re more secure as a nation. With both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the standards in place, we’ll see total U.S. oil savings by 2030 of 2.4 million barrels per day. That’s roughly equal to the amount of oil we’re currently importing from the Persian Gulf and Venezuela combined.

What about jobs? Investments in new technology and manufacturing to meet the new standards is creating jobs in the automobile industry. Plus, as consumers save money on gas, they may spend a bit more on other sectors of the economy. As many as 50,000 new light-duty vehicle manufacturing jobs may result from implementation of the standards. The ripple effect? 650,000 jobs throughout the U.S. economy by 2030.

Though climate change remains a daunting problem to surmount, the Clean Car Standards offer some real hope (Tweet this) that we’ll be able to make significant dents in the amount of carbon dioxide we emit.

Talk about a no-brainer.


TOPICS: Air Pollution, Cars and Trucks, Clean Air Rules and Regulations