The Obama Administration has unveiled its proposal to increase fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks.
Beginning in 2017, the administration is proposing that all new cars and light trucks will have fuel economies of more that 54 miles per gallon. That’s nearly double what the average efficiency is now.
In a press conference held jointly with the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Transportation secretary Ray LaHood says the increased efficiency will have economic implications for drivers.
“It means that American families will fill up their car every two weeks instead of filling it up every week,” he said. “It means that a typical family will save up to $6,600 in fuel costs over time.”
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson stressed the environmental and health benefits of the new standards.
“Both the people who buy American vehicles and the people who make them know that we can’t wait to begin innovating and building the cleanest and most fuel-efficient vehicles in our history,” she said. “We can’t wait to start reducing the amount of oil we use. And we can’t wait to start lowering the amount of greenhouse gases released in our skies.”
The new standards will rely on some already-existing technologies, like advanced engines and transmissions and improvements in aerodynamics. The Obama Administration stressed the fact that 13 major automakers representing 90 percent of all vehicles sold in the U.S. have agreed to the proposal.
There is a 60-day public comment period on the proposal and officials will hold several public meetings.