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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

President Obama Directs Administration to Create First-Ever National Efficiency and Emissions Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Trucks

Calls for increased support for electric vehicles, extension of national policy for cars and light- trucks

WASHINGTON, DC - President Obama today continued to build towards a new clean energy foundation, announcing a vision for cleaner, more efficient trucks, and next-generation cars, including advanced electric vehicles. 

Signing a Presidential Memorandum in the Rose Garden at the White House today, the President directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to create a first-ever National Policy to increase fuel efficiency and decrease greenhouse gas pollution from medium- and heavy-duty trucks for Model Years 2014-2018.  Currently trucks consume more than two million barrels of oil every day, and average 6.1 miles per gallon. They also emit 20% of greenhouse gas pollution related to transportation. Preliminary estimates indicate great potential for significant fuel efficiency gains and greenhouse gas emissions reductions for large tractor trailers, which represent half of all GHG emissions from this sector.

The President also called for an extension of the National Program for cars and light-duty trucks to Model Year 2017 and beyond.

Additionally, President Obama directed the Department of Energy to provide increased support for deployment of advanced vehicles, including electric vehicles, and directed EPA to reduce non-greenhouse-gas pollutants from motor vehicles.

The announcement lays the groundwork for a more secure energy future by reducing our dependence on oil, enhancing American competitiveness and job creation with a new generation of advanced electric vehicles, and protects the environment by reducing dangerous greenhouse gas and other pollutants.

President Obama said, “This will bring down costs for transporting goods, serving businesses and consumers alike.  It will reduce pollution.  And, just like the rule concerning cars, this standard will spur growth in the clean energy sector.  We know how important that is.  We know that our dependence on foreign oil endangers our security and our economy.  We know that climate change poses a threat to our way of life – in fact we are already beginning to see its profound and costly impact.  And we know that our economic future depends on our leadership in the industries of the future.”

Following the President’s directive today, and with the support of a wide and diverse array of stakeholders, including auto manufacturers, workers, the State of California, the environmental community, and other states, EPA and DOT will develop forthcoming rulemaking proposals to achieve these goals, and continue building a stronger foundation for a clean energy economy and the next generation of advanced vehicles. 

"We want America to be home to the auto industry of the future, and this sends a clear message to our innovators, entrepreneurs and auto manufacturers that this country is committed to leading the way through 2016 and beyond," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.  "The fuel efficient cars and trucks of the future can cut costs for American drivers and shipping companies, while cleaning up the air we breathe.  We're starting on this today so that we can be the world leaders in clean technology tomorrow."

“We need to seize the momentum following last month’s historic new fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards and President Obama’s announcement today does just that,” said DOT Secretary Ray LaHood.  “By expanding this effort to include medium and heavy-duty trucks and encouraging the development of innovative technologies such as electric cars, we are laying the foundation for a cleaner, greener transportation sector that provides greater environmental benefits, reduces our dependence on oil and encourages American creativity.”

Today’s announcement builds upon the success of the historic new national policy President Obama set in motion one year ago, this week, increasing fuel economy and reducing greenhouse gas pollution for new cars and light-duty trucks manufactured in Model Years 2012-2016 and sold in the United States.  The policy represented an unprecedented collaboration between DOT, EPA, the world’s largest auto manufacturers, the United Auto Workers, leaders in the environmental community, the State of California, and other state governments.  Last month, EPA and DOT issued coordinated final rules fulfilling the President’s directive, and these regulations established, for the first time, a harmonized National Program that will save our nation 1.8 billion barrels of oil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly one billion metric tons -- equivalent to taking 50 million cars off the road -- over the lifetime of vehicles sold in Model Years 2012-2016.