Labor, Environment Support Administration’s New Fuel Efficiency and Auto Pollution Standards

The BlueGreen Alliance and its partners support President Obama's proposal of a stronger fuel efficiency standard of 54.5 miles per gallon as an important step towards building a strong national program for light duty vehicles.

July 29, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 29, 2011) The BlueGreen Alliance (BGA) and its partners support President Obama’s proposal of a stronger fuel efficiency standard of 54.5 miles per gallon as an important step towards building a strong national program for light duty vehicles sold in model years 2017-2025.

“The UAW is pleased to join our BGA partners in supporting this framework agreement,” said United Auto Workers President Bob King. “We congratulate and thank President Obama and his administration for bringing all the stakeholders together in a compromise that moves the industry forward.”

“After decades of inaction and stagnation, President Obama has ensured 15 years of continuous progress to help cut our dangerous addiction to oil, create American jobs, save families money at the pump, curb dangerous pollution and tackle climate disruption,” said Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. “It is critical that the Administration put technology to work to ensure the strongest final standards possible for the greatest benefits to American families and workers.”

“This is a strong step toward reducing America’s dependence on oil, curbing climate change and protecting our health,” said Peter Lehner, Executive Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “While Congress is tied up in ideological gridlock on the debt limit, the president, the auto companies, the UAW, environmentalists and clean car states have, once again, shown what governing is and what can be accomplished by constructive compromise.”

“Whether they drive a compact car or a large pickup truck, all Americans deserve to see much greater fuel efficiency — and savings — in their next vehicle,” said Larry Schweiger, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation.  “With technology that delivers efficiency and performance together, these standards ensure that increasingly the vehicles we rely on to work in the outdoors will work for the outdoors, and for America”.

According to Driving Growth, a joint report by the United Autoworkers, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Center for American Progress, up to 150,000 additional American jobs could be created by reaching 40 miles per gallon through 2020.

“Innovative programs such as the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loans have already leveraged $8 billion in investment into nearly 40,000 auto industry jobs in the U.S.,” said King. “Federal policies designed to attract manufacturing investment will keep America on a level playing field with other nations that are moving aggressively to boost green auto technology.”

“This decision shows appropriate faith in American technological abilities and should equip us to compete for market share, jobs and the cutting edge of innovation,” said Kevin Knobloch, President of the Union of Concerned Scientists. “Our hope is that the auto companies will be bullish about meeting and exceeding these standards ahead of schedule, and thus show the country and the world what we are made of.”

“As America’s working families continue to struggle with high gas prices and the fragile economic recovery, this is the right step to take at the right time to help save consumers money at the gas pump and create new American jobs,” said David Foster, Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance. “America sends an estimated $1 billion daily to foreign countries to pay for oil. This new standard proposed by President Obama will result in keeping more of those dollars here in the United States, set the stage for weaning America off foreign oil addiction for good, and will result in the long-term reductions in GHG pollution that we need to create a sustainable clean energy economy.”

“We look forward to continuing our work with the Obama Administration to ensure these new standards are implemented in a way that holds the auto industry accountable, delivers on the promise of significant fuel efficiency improvement and pollution reduction, and maximizes job creation in America. We applaud the efforts undertaken so far and believe that strong, feasible standards can guarantee the best possible outcome for American workers, our communities, the economy, and the environment,” said Foster.