Center for American Progress

New Fuel-Economy Standards Will Reduce Oil Use and Create Jobs
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New Fuel-Economy Standards Will Reduce Oil Use and Create Jobs

New fuel-economy and carbon-pollution standards from the Obama administration will reduce oil use, save families money from lower gasoline purchases, create jobs, and reduce emissions responsible for climate change.

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The Obama administration is about to promulgate fuel-economy and carbon-pollution limits for 2017 to 2025 model cars. These essential standards will reduce oil use, save families money from lower gasoline purchases, create jobs, and reduce emissions responsible for climate change.

Under these new standards U.S. companies will produce vehicles that employ modern fuel-saving technologies and ensure that their cars remain competitive with foreign models during future oil and gasoline price shocks. Recent events reemphasize the importance of reducing dependence on oil with its volatile price. Gasoline prices are rising again due to supply concerns related to sanctions on Iranian oil. In addition, the anticipation of economic growth that increases demand could enable speculators to bid up oil prices.

The new fuel-economy standards are one of several actions the Obama administration has taken to revive and strengthen the U.S. auto industry. The most prominent, of course, was the bridge loans granted to General Motors and Chrysler in March 2009 that enabled them to remain in business long enough to restructure, begin to innovate again, and return back to profitability.

In addition to the successful bridge loans there are five other major Obama administration policies that helped the auto industry and the nation by creating jobs, reducing oil use, saving families money, and cutting pollution:

  • Fuel-economy and carbon-pollution standards for 2012 to 2016 model cars sparked job growth in automobile manufacturing and increased automobile sales.
  • Fuel-economy and carbon-pollution standards for 2017 to 2025 model cars will double their fuel economy and reduce oil use by 2 million barrels per day.
  • The Recovery Act invested in fuel-efficient vehicle research and development to spur job growth and increase international competitiveness.
  • Federal loans helped convert factories to the production of fuel-efficient vehicles.
  • The “Cash for Clunkers” program increased vehicle efficiency and helped save the auto industry by jump starting demand during the depths of the Great Recession.

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