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Environment New York
|
The North Country Gazette
By
Julia Greenwald

“Hybrid/Diesel Buses Coming ToProspectMt.” (Nov. 15, 2011) highlighted the air quality improvements more fuel-efficient buses will bring to the Adirondacks and Catskills areas of New York State.

While the DEC’s program is definitely noteworthy, I would like to draw your attention to another government program that has even greater potential to reduce air pollution across the country: the new fuel-economy standards proposed by the Obama Administration.

The new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards require all new cars and light trucks sold in 2025 to average at least 54.5 miles per gallon. According to analysis by the NRDC, these strong standards will reduce annual emissions of global warming pollution by as much as 280 million metric tons. This will drastically improve air quality and represents the single biggest step the U.S. has taken to cut global warming pollution.

Furthermore, the new CAFE standards are not only environmentally friendly, but also beneficial to consumers. The NRDC also predicts that higher fuel efficiency standards will save Americans as much $80 billion annually at the pump by 2030, and cut gasoline use by over 20 billion gallons per year.

Environmentalists and consumers alike should celebrate the higher fuel efficiency standards outlined by the Obama administration. However in order to ensure that Americans receive the full economic and environmental savings of these standards, we must urge the administration to stay firm and keep the standards strong and loophole-free.

Julia Greenwald

Environment New York