Pew Environment Wants Stricter CAFE Standards (video)

Political activist group Pew Environment (not that kind of pew-pew) is asking for Americans to push the Obama administration towards higher CAFE standards, and it’s using the video to help show Americans that higher fuel-economy standards could translate to significant cost-savings.

If Americans want to lobby their representatives for higher mandated mpg numbers, though, they’ll need to move quickly.  The EPA and Department of Transportation (EPA-DOT) are expected to release a joint rule this September that will carmaker’s fleet-wide fuel-efficiency to something between 47 and 62 mpg for cars and non-commercial trucks.

Granted, some of the auto-industry’s more vocal talking heads have argued that raising fuel economy standards to that degree would significantly increase the automakers’ production costs (read:  cut into their profits) but with cars like the 68 mpg (57 mpg US) Volkswagen Passat and all-electric Tesla S practically here, I’m inclined to call bulls***.

Fill out Pew’s online petition, if you agree.  Full press release, below.

Pew Calls for Obama Administration to Raise MPG Standards

Action could save consumers millions at the pump and reduce consumption by more than one billion barrels of oil

The Pew Clean Energy Program launched a video this week to raise awareness of the benefits of increasing the fuel efficiency-or miles-per-gallon (MPG)-standards for cars and light trucks to as high as 60 MPG by 2025. The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation (EPA-DOT) are expected to release a proposed joint rule by Sept. 30, 2011, that will elevate fuel efficiency fleet wide to a level between 47 and 62 miles per gallon for cars and light trucks, model years 2017-2025.

“President Obama has pledged to reduce petroleum imports by a third,” said Phyllis Cuttino, director, Pew Clean Energy Program. “His administration can make real progress toward that goal by significantly increasing fuel efficiency for cars and light trucks. We encourage Americans who watch this video to sign a petition asking the president to ‘Increase My MPG’ and break our cycle of addiction to foreign oil. Cars that go further on a gallon of gas will save consumers money, reduce oil consumption and reduce air pollution.”

Rising gas prices are squeezing the budgets of American families. With a 62 MPG standard, vehicle owners could see an average net savings of $6,475 over the lifetime of the car according to EPA-DOT analysis, and 1.3 billion barrels of oil will be saved. Several recent polls show that Americans want to drive farther on a tank of gas, including one survey on behalf of Go60MPG, a coalition of advocacy groups seeking higher fuel-efficiency standards, which revealed 74 percent of those surveyed supporting 60 MPG by 2025. Consumers consistently express a willingness to purchase higher efficiency vehicles, and sales trends reflect these sentiments.

In March, the United States spent $39.3 billion on oil imports, the highest level in nearly three years, and net oil imports represented 65 percent of the U.S. trade deficit. U.S. transportation consumes 70 percent of oil, and households are spending an average of $305 per month to fill up their cars and trucks, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Despite an 11 percent increase in domestic oil production, gas prices have continued to climb. The Energy Information Administration projects that world liquid fuels consumption will increase by 3.1 million barrels of oil per day over the next 24 months. Ninety percent of the demand will come from China, Brazil and other emerging economies.

“Our country is dangerously dependent upon foreign oil and vulnerable to price spikes due to instability in the Middle East and increased energy demand from the developing world,” explained Cuttino. “One solution is clear: America needs cars and trucks that go farther on a gallon of gas.”

SourcePew Environment, via Autoblog.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.