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January 12, 2012

Make Your Voice Heard on Fuel Economy

(Click image to enlarge)

With gas prices still hurting Americans at the pump and threatening to climb higher, it’s time to start building better, more efficient cars that guzzle less gas.

Just weeks ago, President Obama proposed strengthening fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks to 54.5 mpg by 2025, building on the standards that he has already put in place for cars sold this year through 2016.  These means the average American family buying a car in 2025 will save $4,400 on gas over the car’s lifetime, even after paying for fuel-saving technology.  I was pleased to celebrate this and the other benefits of the proposed standards in November and received many comments

The graphic above shows the benefits of these standards - and we encourage you to share it with your friends and family.

Now it is time to share your comments with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation.  Hundreds of Americans will be testifying at EPA’s and DOT’s public hearings over the next two weeks in support of these proposed fuel efficiency and carbon pollution standards that would mean significant savings at the pump, cleaner air, more jobs and better vehicle choices for American families.

The hearings are January 17th in Detroit, January 19th in Philadelphia, and January 24th in San Francisco. If you can be at any of them, RSVP here.

I will be at the hearing in Detroit to urge Obama administration officials to keep these proposed standards strong.  We recognize how vital they are to our freedom and security, because our current oil addiction puts our troops at risk around the world and our families’ health at risk at home.  We also know how important these standards are to curbing the pollution that is causing global warming.

These standards enjoy overwhelming support from three-quarters of all Americans and 13 major auto manufacturers, including Detroit’s “Big Three”, have signed letters of commitment supporting strong standards.  

It’s not hard to see why fuel efficient cars are so popular.  Instead of draining our economy by sending nearly $1 billion a day overseas for oil we can keep money in Americans’ pockets, which will create 484,000 jobs economy-wide by 2030, including 43,000 in the auto industry.  On top of that, we’ll be using 1.5 million fewer barrels of oil per day in 2030, the same amount we imported from Saudi Arabia and Iraq combined last year.  That’s a big deal, and it would cut carbon pollution in 2030 by the amount equal to shutting down 72 coal-fired power plants for a year.

These standards should not be partisan or controversial.  Saving the average American family thousands of dollars on gas, cutting pollution and revitalizing the American auto industry as an engine of economic growth should be benefits we can all get behind.

This is the biggest single step that any U.S. President has taken to break America’s addiction to oil.  President Obama should keep doing the right thing and finalize these strong standards this summer. Join us at one of the three public hearings this month, or send in your comment supporting these standards right now

-- Ann Mesnikoff, Director of the Sierra Club Green Transportation Campaign


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