In May of this year, we met here with President Obama, auto makers, auto workers, governors from across the country, and others to announce an historic agreement about the future of our automobile industry.
That announcement was also a directive to get to work – and we’re here today to announce the next step in fulfilling the promise of that historic agreement.
Today, EPA and NHTSA are proposing a new national program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and significantly improve fuel economy from cars, SUVs and small trucks.
This marks a significant advance in our work to protect health and the environment and move our nation into the sustainable, energy-efficient economy of the future.
The groundbreaking standards require an average fuel economy of 35.5 mpg in 2016.
That standard that will reduce oil consumption by an estimated 1.8 billion barrels.
It will prevent greenhouse gas emissions of approximately 950 million metric tons, and at the same time, save consumers more than $3000 in fuel costs.
This proposal emerges from an unprecedented coalition – one formed of diverse groups with a range of different and often competing interests.
Under President Obama’s leadership, we brought together people who, in many cases, had spent the previous decade at odds with each other over this issue.
We sought, and discovered common ground. And we built a path forward that is win-win for our health, for our environment, and for our economy.
Auto makers will be able to build a single national fleet that satisfies requirements under both federal programs and the standards of California and other states.
That ensures that the car of the future will be built by American workers, right here in the United States.
Consumers will be able to keep more money in their pockets, put less pollution into the air, and help reduce a dependence on imported oil that sends billions of dollars out of our economy every year.
Overall, consumers would save more than $3,000 in fuel costs over the lifetime of a model year 2016 vehicle.
The majority of U.S. consumers would start seeing immediate savings of roughly $130-$160 a year from lower fuel costs.
And the new standards will conserve 1.8 billion barrels of oil, significantly reducing our dependence on foreign fuel.
That will help protect us from oil price spikes that shook our economy last summer. Along with more money in their pockets, consumers will also have a stronger, more stable economy.
And every American will benefit from having less pollution in the air – especially our youngest Americans, who are more vulnerable to smog and other pollution in the air they breathe. And over the long-term, they are the ones who will face the effects of global climate change.
Emission reductions from this program will be equivalent taking 42 million cars off the road.
I am very proud to note that this partnership of workers, American auto makers, government officials and others have come together to establish the nation’s first ever national greenhouse gas standards.
I am glad that we can all take credit for this historic step forward in confronting global climate change. And it serves as powerful evidence that we don’t have to choose between our economy and our environment.
The program is designed to ensure a cleaner more sustainable transportation sector for America.
The new standards are aggressive and achievable, and ensure that consumers have a full range of vehicle choices.
We are also factoring in necessary flexibilities and lead times to allow for technology improvements and cost reductions, without compromising overall environmental and fuel economy objectives.
That all translates into tremendous benefits for the American people.