New Clean Car and Fuel Standards Build the President's Clean Air Legacy

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took action to significantly cut smog, soot and other harmful air pollution from our cars and trucks.  The new clean car and fuel standards – which are strongly supported by automakers, public health groups and other stakeholders – require better-performing pollution controls in vehicles, and cleaner gasoline.  Cleaner gasoline will reduce pollution from cars and trucks that are currently on the road, and also enable fuel-efficient and low-emissions technologies to work better in new vehicles.  That means cleaner air across the country, especially for the more than 50 million people who live, work, or go to school near high-traffic roadways.

These new standards represent a major step in the President’s work to improve air quality and public health in our communities.  And they build on an already-strong record that includes:

  • first-ever national limits on mercury and other toxic pollution from power plants
  • long-overdue limits on toxic air pollution from industrial boilers and incinerators
  • rules to cut smog-forming pollutants from oil and gas wells, and
  • tighter air quality standards for particulate pollution (or soot), reflecting new science about dangerous health impacts 

Together, the Administration’s actions are making our cities and towns healthier places to live, work, and raise a family.  They will help prevent tens of thousands of premature deaths, tens of thousands heart attacks and hospital visits, and hundreds of thousands of childhood asthma attacks. 

Today’s action also rounds out the Administration’s national clean car program.  By cutting the pollution that causes smog and soot, these clean air standards work in tandem with the Administration’s standards that are reducing the carbon pollution that causes climate change and improving fuel efficiency.  Those standards, finalized in 2012, will roughly double the miles our cars go on a gallon of gas.  For owners of a new car in 2025, that means net savings equivalent to $1 per gallon on every visit to the gas pump.

Because the Administration’s clean car program benefits consumers, workers, businesses, and the environment, it has been met with strong support.  The President’s fuel efficiency standards were supported by auto workers, consumer groups, environmental organizations, and auto manufacturers representing over 90% of U.S. auto sales.  Similarly, the clean air standards announced today are supported by a broad group of stakeholders, including automakers, auto workers, consumer groups, environmental organizations, states, and cities.

More information on the new clean car and fuel standards can be found here

See what people are saying about the new clean car and fuel standards here

Drew McConville is Senior Advisor to the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality

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