This morning, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and I unveiled new fuel economy labels for new cars and trucks sold in the U.S.
With all the terrific innovations and fuel-saving features from automakers, now is the time for the most extensive overhaul of fuel economy labels since they were introduced three decades ago. As Administrator Jackson said, "A new generation of cars requires a new generation of fuel economy labels."
These next generation labels are designed for one purpose, and one purpose only: to help consumers make better decisions when they're shopping for a new vehicle.
And that's exactly what the new labels do. When evaluating new cars or trucks, consumers can see easy-to-read information comparing the fuel efficiency and tailpipe emissions of one model to others within its class and to the entire range of vehicles available in America.
Joining us at today's announcement, Consumers Union President and CEO Jim Guest welcomed the new labels:
"Consumers Union and Consumer Reports are all about providing information to consumers that is easy to understand and science-based. Providing consumers with clear, accessible, and comparative information is a critical goal for us, and these new fuel-economy labels are right down our alley, especially now when people are certainly feeling a pinch at the pump.”
He also demonstrated in terms we can all understand how important better fuel-efficiency is to family budgets: "When one car gets 15 percent more miles per gallon, that's like knocking down the price of gas to that consumer from four dollars-per-gallon to three-sixty per gallon. And that's a significant difference."
That's why President Obama has had us working so hard on these new labels. Helping Americans make better-informed decisions saves them money at the pump.
AAA Vice President Kathleen Marvaso also gave the new labels an enthusiastic thumbs-up:
"With nearly 47 million members in the United States, AAA is well aware that vehicle purchase is a major transaction that consumers take very seriously. That's why today's announcement is so important."
Other advocates agree that consumers will be empowered by the information the new labels offer. Jack Gillis of the Consumer Federation of America highlighted this effect, saying, "This is a new day for auto buyers, and the result will be tremendous market pressure on the car companies to dramatically increase the fuel efficiency of the vehicles they offer."
I want to thank all of the many stakeholders who weighed in on the design and content of the labels we introduced today. And I want to thank my colleague, Administrator Jackson, AAA and Consumers Union for their support. But most of all I want to thank President Obama for his leadership in the fight to ease the pain of high gas prices.