EPA's New Clean Car Standards: The Right Kind of Energy Solution

America took a major step forward in our efforts to fight climate change on Thursday. The Environmental Protection Agency finalized new clean car standards that will slash greenhouse gas pollution from cars, minivans, and pickup trucks.

President Obama queued up this announcement yesterday in his address at Andrews Air Force Base, but it was largely drowned out by news of the administration’s misguided offshore drilling policy.

But these standard are precisely the kind of clean energy solution we need right now. Not only will they save consumers an estimated $65 billion at the pump in 2020, but they will also cut oil consumption by 1.3 million barrels of oil a day and slash global warming pollution by more than 220 million metric tons in the year 2020 alone.

That is equivalent to taking 38 million cars off the road for a year.

Think about it. That is 1.3 million barrels of oil we won’t have to extract from unspoiled landscapes or ocean ecosystems. It is 1.3 million barrels of oil we won’t have to import from unstable regimes. It is 1.3 million barrels of oil we won’t have send our troops to fight for.

President Obama entered office saying he would reduce America’s oil addiction and today he is delivering on that promise. Yet this is only the beginning. We can save even more oil--and create nearly 2 million jobs in the process--but passing a comprehensive clean energy and climate bill. This legislation will unleash even more oil-saving technologies for our cars and trucks.

As we fight hard to pass this bill in the Senate, I am proud to say that NRDC played a central role in establishing the new clean car standards announced on Thursday. We helped draft the original standards in California, we defended them in court when automakers tried to block them, and we helped broker the “Clean Car Peace Treaty” that led to Thursday’s announcement.

Now we are bringing the same relentless approach to the climate fight, as we can help generate more clean energy solutions.