Chevy to the Levee: New Clean Car Standards Mean Less Pollution to Fuel Extreme Weather

The Obama administration’s new clean car standards mean you’ll save money at the fuel pump while your car pumps out less carbon pollution to fuel dangerous climate change and extreme weather. 

Our cars, SUVs, and light trucks account for 20 percent of America’s heat-trapping carbon pollution – second only to our power plants.  Unrestricted carbon pollution is driving up temperatures and fueling increasingly extreme weather – heat waves and drought, storms and floods – with staggering costs to life, limb, and property.

The standards issued jointly today by the EPA and the Transportation Department are the second round of standards issued under President Obama’s historic clean car agreements.  Together they will double new vehicles’ miles per gallon between 2012 and 2025 and cut their carbon pollution in half.   

That’s the biggest step the federal government has ever taken to cut our oil dependence and our carbon pollution. 

Everybody wins.  You’ll keep more of your hard-earned money – up to $8000 over the life of your car – and sharply cut your carbon footprint.  You’ll help keep billions of American dollars here at home instead of shipping them abroad for foreign oil.  And you’ll help rebuild America’s auto industry and create thousands of good-paying manufacturing jobs here at home. 

The clean car standards come as Hurricane Isaac rumbles towards New Orleans tomorrow, seven years to the day after Hurricane Katrina, threatening to dump 6 to 12 inches of rain and cause storm surges of 6 to 12 feet. 

Isaac is just the latest manifestation of 2012’s extreme weather – a year already marked by drought, fire, and flood.  Scientists tell us carbon-fueled climate change means stronger storms, including stronger hurricanes.  It means heavier rainfalls, flooding, and higher coastal storm surges.  Storms take lives and cause billions of dollars in property damage.

If we want to keep these extreme weather trends from ever worsening, we’ve got to clean up the carbon pollution from America’s cars, power plants, and other big polluters.

Today’s clean car standards are a huge step forward.