Pres. Obama’s Push for Clean Vehicles Will Help Cut Demand for Oil

New Standards for Cars & Trucks Will Also Help Cut Global Warming Pollution, Save Money at the Pump

President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum today in a Rose Garden ceremony that will help to move the country away from oil, cut global warming pollution and save Americans money at the gas pump by putting cleaner cars and trucks on the road. 
Specifically, the President’s announcement today:
• Directs the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation to develop the first-ever fuel efficiency and global warming emissions standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, for model years 2014-2018.
• Calls for the development of new fuel efficiency and global warming emissions standards for cars and light-duty trucks starting with model year 2017 vehicles.  These new standards will serve as an extension of the recently announced standards for cars and light-duty trucks that extend through model year 2016, and which were based on standards originally developed by California and adopted by 13 other states. 
• Directs the Department of Energy to increase its support for electric vehicles.
Paul Burns, executive director of VPIRG, issued the following statement in response:
“Getting serious about ending our dependence on oil means getting serious about cleaner cars.  For years, we’ve had the technology to make cars and trucks that go farther on a gallon of gas, cut global warming pollution and save consumers at the pump—what we’ve lacked for too long is political leadership to put these solutions to work.
“The disaster in the Gulf—where hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil have been spewing into ocean waters for more than a month—makes it clearer than ever that we need to wean ourselves off of oil.  And given that the transportation sector accounts for such a large portion of the oil consumed in this country, we must advance clean car technologies as quickly as possible to make a significant dent in our demand for oil.  
“We applaud President Obama for his leadership in putting cleaner cars and trucks on the road.  We look forward to working with his administration and California to ensure the rules are as strong as possible.
“Yet, as early as next week, the Senate may vote to block President Obama’s clean vehicles program, a step that would increase our oil dependence and let polluters off the hook.  VPIRG is grateful for the leadership of Senators Sanders and Leahy in opposing Senator Murkowski’s Big Oil and Dirty Energy Bailout.”