Governor Shumlin urges President Obama to push for a stronger national car emission standard.

Today Governor Shumlin sent a letter to President Obama sending a strong message, urging him to voice support for a single, national emission standard for passenger vehicles and light trucks.

Vermont is one of 14 states around the country that have adopted emission standards and while we have the lowest emissions in New England, car exhaust still makes up 40% of our greenhouse gas emissions. This a great step forward in reducing our dependance on dirty and polluting energy sources.

Below is a statement from VPIRG’s Director Paul Burns on this development.

VPIRG applauds Shumlin and Douglas for their support for clean car standards

Montpelier, VT – Gov. Peter Shumlin sent President Barack Obama a strong message today in support of new Clean Car Standards that will lead to increased automobile fuel efficiency and reduced global warming pollution.  In late June, former Gov. Jim Douglas joined with 14 other Republican leaders from around the country (including former Rep. Peter Smith from Vermont) in urging the Obama administration to take aggressive action to improve vehicle fuel efficiency.

Just over a year ago, President Obama held a Rose Garden ceremony to announce that he was directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) to set global warming pollution and fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks.  Specifically, the President directed the EPA and DOT to set standards for new light-duty vehicles sold in model years 2017-2025.

The agencies previously announced that clean car technologies exist to reduce global warming pollution from the average car and light truck by as much as 6 percent each year between 2017 and 2025.  A 6 percent annual decrease in global warming pollution would correspond roughly with the 60 miles per gallon by 2025 fleet-wide average that VPIRG and many other groups across the country have been urging the Administration to adopt.

“VPIRG applauds Gov. Shumlin and former Gov. Douglas for putting partisanship aside to support a policy that’s best for Vermonters and all Americans,” said Paul Burns, executive director of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group.

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, if the Obama administration adopts the 60 mpg standard by 2025 and gasoline is priced at $3.50 per gallon, the typical new vehicle in 2025 would deliver savings of about $7,500 over its lifetime compared to today’s vehicles, even after accounting for the additional upfront cost of clean car technology.

“An aggressive efficiency standard for cars and light trucks will not only mean a cleaner environment, it will mean more money in Vermonters’ pockets too,” said Burns.  “A policy that saves money and protects our environment is the definition of a win-win, and it’s why you’ll see Vermonters of all political stripes coming together to urge the President to take this important step.”