As part of the President's Climate Action Plan, this Administration has taken historic steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Our National Program for fuel efficiency standards has set increasingly stringent targets for greenhouse emission reductions for cars and light trucks. The program is expected to save consumers more than $1.7 trillion at the pump and reduce 6 billion metric tons of carbon pollution over the lifetimes of new vehicles – more carbon dioxide than the United States emitted in all of 2012.
To meet these standards, the American auto industry responded with innovation. They found ways to cut tailpipe emissions, make air conditioners for our cars more efficient, and deploy early incentives for alternative fuel vehicles. Today, with the release of the Manufacturers Report for model year 2012, we have our first glimpse into the progress we are making in meeting these targets.
The result? The auto industry has not only met – but actually surpassed – the fuel economy targets by roughly 10 grams of carbon dioxide per mile. The industry continues to deploy newer and cleaner technologies than any we’d fathomed when first developing these standards. Already, approximately 28 percent of vehicles sold in 2013 already meet the most stringent greenhouse gas targets for 2016. Manufacturers are developing cleaner vehicles even faster than anticipated, and consumer demand is supporting them.
As we implement the President’s Climate Action Plan, the American auto industry continues to play a crucial role in cutting our carbon pollution, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and creating good-paying American jobs. And thanks to this accelerated progress, signs for the future look even more promising on the road ahead.
Dan Utech is the Special Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change.