WASHINGTON (July 5, 2011) — The Pew Clean Energy Program has launched a video with the aim of raising awareness of the benefits of increasing the fuel efficiency—or miles-per-gallon (mpg)—standards for cars and light trucks to as high as 60 mpg by 2025.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) are expected to release a proposed joint rule by Sept. 30 that will elevate fuel efficiency fleet wide to a level between 47 and 62 miles per gallon for cars and light trucks in model years 2017-2025.
The Pew organization called on President Barack Obama to raise mpg standards. “President Obama has pledged to reduce petroleum imports by a third,” said Phyllis Cuttino, Pew Clean Energy Program director, in a press release. “His administration can make real progress toward that goal by significantly increasing fuel efficiency for cars and light trucks.”
Ms. Cuttino encouraged Americans who watch the Pew video—at its website—to sign a petition “asking the president to 'Increase My MPG' and break our cycle of addiction to foreign oil. Cars that go further on a gallon of gas will save consumers money, reduce oil consumption and reduce air pollution.”
Rising gas prices are squeezing the budgets of American families, Pew said, citing an EPA-DOT analysis showing that with a 62 mpg standard, vehicle owners could see an average net savings of $6,475 over the lifetime of a vehicle while 1.3 billion barrels of oil would be saved.
Pew said that several recent polls indicate Americans want to drive farther on a tank of gas, including one survey on behalf of Go60MPG—a coalition of advocacy groups seeking higher fuel-efficiency standards—which revealed 74 percent of those surveyed supporting 60 mpg by 2025. Consumers consistently express a willingness to purchase higher efficiency vehicles, and sales trends reflect these sentiments, according to Pew.
The organization said the U.S. spent $39.3 billion on oil imports in March, the highest level in nearly three years, and net oil imports represented 65 percent of the country's trade deficit. U.S. transportation consumes 70 percent of oil, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, and households are spending an average of $305 per month to fill up their cars and trucks.
“Our country is dangerously dependent upon foreign oil and vulnerable to price spikes due to instability in the Middle East and increased energy demand from the developing world,” Ms. Cuttino said. “One solution is clear: America needs cars and trucks that go farther on a gallon of gas.”
More information about the organization is available on its website.