President Obama Announces National Fuel Efficiency Policy
May 19, 2009

President Obama announced a new national policy aimed at both increasing fuel economy and reducing greenhouse gas pollution for all new cars and trucks sold in the United States today. The new standards, covering model years 2012 to 2016, and ultimately requiring an average fuel economy standard of 35.5 mpg in 2016, are projected to save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the life of the program with a fuel economy gain averaging more than 5 percent per year and a reduction of approximately 900 million metric tons in greenhouse gas emissions, according to a statement from the White House.

"In the past, an agreement such as this would have been considered impossible," said Obama. "That is why this announcement is so important, for it represents not only a change in policy in Washington, but the harbinger of a change in the way business is done in Washington. As a result of this agreement, we will save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of the vehicles sold in the next five years. And at a time of historic crisis in our auto industry, this rule provides the clear certainty that will allow these companies to plan for a future in which they are building the cars of the 21st century."

The policy was developed jointly by the Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, auto manufacturers, the United Auto Workers union, the State of California, which currently is in the latter stages of creating regulations for reducing carbon emissions from vehicles in the state, and others.

"A clear and uniform national policy is not only good news for consumers who will save money at the pump, but this policy is also good news for the auto industry which will no longer be subject to a costly patchwork of differing rules and regulations," says Carol M. Browner, assistant to the president for energy and climate change. "This an incredible step forward for our country and another way for Americans to become more energy independent and reduce air pollution."

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