The Obama Administration announced new fuel efficiency standards on Tuesday, requiring the auto industry to build cars and light-duty trucks that reach an average of 54.5 mpg. The effort to reduce greenhouse gases and the country’s reliance on foreign oil will save 12 billion barrels of oil, according to a White House release.
“These fuel standards represent the single most important step we’ve ever taken to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” said President Obama.
Previous fuel economy standards set by the Administration requires automakers to reach an average of 35.5 mpg by 2016.
The move will likely encourage the development of electric, hybrid, natural gas, and fuel cell powered vehicles.
Environmentalists praised the announcement. George Jugovic is CEO of PennFuture.
“The demand for more efficient cars will add more than 500,000 jobs to our economy, according a recent report,” said Jugovic. “We’re already seeing this job creation in action, with American automobile companies producing the Chevy Volt, an electric car with gas backup, and other hybrid vehicles. This ruling gives us a lot to celebrate.”
The Obama Administration says it has the support of the auto industry, and the United Auto Workers. But not everyone is celebrating. Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney told the Detroit News he opposes the hike, and a spokesperson reiterated his position today.
Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said, “Governor Romney opposes the extreme standards that President Obama has imposed, which will limit the choices available to American families.The President tells voters that his regulations will save them thousands of dollars at the pump, but always forgets to mention that the savings will be wiped out by having to pay thousands of dollars more upfront for unproven technology that they may not even want.”