Rarely does a proposed rule draw praise from consumer advocates, environmentalists, and manufacturers. But--by working with industry partners, and other stakeholders--the Obama Administration did just that this week with proposed fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks in model years 2017 to 2025.
And EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and I were delighted on Wednesday to unveil the details of the proposed rule. By the year 2025, the average car’s fuel economy will increase from today's 27.5 miles per gallon to the equivalent of 54.5 miles per gallon. That’s correct; the proposed rule will nearly double the average consumer's gas mileage.
Let's just think about what this means for American families: filling up the car half as often and saving up to $6,600 in fuel costs over the life of a vehicle. Nationwide, when combined with other historic steps this administration has taken to increase energy efficiency, this proposal will save Americans more than $1.7 trillion at the pump.
And it puts a big dent in our reliance on oil. In fact, the new rule will cut oil consumption by 2.2 million barrels a day; that's almost a quarter of our current daily oil imports.
America's automakers agree. As Mitch Bainwol, president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said, “This proposal continues the approach of establishing a single national program for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions, which is the right overall direction."
The proposed standards aren't just about protecting our climate or our wallets. We're also talking about jobs and economic growth.
These standards will spur growth in clean energy industries. They’ll fuel research and development in alternative fuels, new engine technologies, and advanced batteries. That means new jobs in cutting-edge industries all across America.
The new rule also ensures that automakers have the regulatory consistency and stability they need to make key planning and design decisions. “The national program," said U.S. Rep. John Dingell, "allows American manufacturers to continue building the cars consumers want to buy. It gives industry the certainty they need to invest in the future and promotes American manufacturing of advanced technology vehicles."
Finally, we will accomplish all of this while maintaining the highest possible standards for auto and roadway safety--our number one priority at DOT.
This rule is a remarkable leap forward, and I thank everyone—the 13 major auto manufacturers, the state of California, the United Auto Workers, consumer and environmental groups, and other stakeholders--who helped make it happen.