Source: Environment America

As the average price of gas creeps closer to $4 per gallon and Americans brace for further price increases, a new Environment America Research & Policy Center report finds that more fuel efficient cars would save the average American family $513 at the gas pump this summer alone. The report was released as the Obama administration is developing new fuel efficiency and global warming pollution standards for cars and light trucks.

“Americans shouldn’t have to spend their summers worrying about how they will afford to drive, let alone whether their driving is polluting the air their kids breathe, or whether their beaches will be safe from oil spills like last summer’s BP Deepwater Horizon disaster.  President Obama can help solve all these problems in one fell swoop by helping America to get off oil. Ensuring our cars get 60 miles per gallon would be a bold step in that direction,” said Margie Alt, Executive Director of Environment America. “Our report shows that burning less oil in more efficient cars will also mean burning less cash, saving Americans $66 billion in one summer alone. That extra cash in our families’ pockets will mean enjoying that drive to the shore, arriving confident that the beaches will be clean, and having enough money left over to book a hotel and stick around for a week to enjoy the surf.”

Based on current gas prices, Americans are expected to spend more than $130 billion at the gas pump this summer.  With little relief in sight from high gas prices, and our oil consumption continuing to have dire consequences for our health and environment, Environment America pointed to reducing our dependence on oil as the only viable solution.

Environment America was joined by the Sierra Club in releasing today’s report.

“The ordeal we’re facing at the pump is just one of the many consequences of our oil addiction – it threatens our economy, our environment, our national security and our health,” said Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club.  “Making better, more fuel efficient cars will not only provide better choices to consumers, but will also save American families money at the pump, reduce life-threatening pollution, create jobs, decrease our dependence on foreign oil and move our nation forward, Beyond Oil.”

Requiring cars and trucks to meet a 60 mpg standard would be a major step toward getting off oil and decreasing pollution, reducing America’s oil consumption over the summer by 16.9 billion gallons and reducing dangerous carbon dioxide pollution by 160 million metric tons.

Last year, recognizing the benefits of increasing fuel efficiency and decreasing our oil dependence, the Obama administration set standards for new cars and trucks built between 2012 and 2016 that will save billions of gallons of fuel.

Today, Environment America and Sierra Club called on President Obama to take the next step and move clean cars into the fast lane by making 60 miles per gallon cars the norm and not the exception to the rule.

“Clean cars would make our fun in the sun all that much better this summer and for summers into the future, benefiting America’s families, our economy and our environment,” said Margie Alt.  “The Obama administration should push ahead with the clean car standards that will make these benefits a reality.  It’s time to get this country off oil.”

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