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Green Groups Say Clean Air Rules Will Save Michigan Drivers A Billion A Year

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ANN ARBOR — Michigan drivers will save $937 million a year at the pump in 2030 as a result of new fuel economy and vehicle emission standards, according to a new analysis released today by Great Lakes Regional Center of the National Wildlife Federation.

The analysis, from the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Natural Resources Defense Council, shows that the average Michigan household will save $240 a year. Fuel savings from driving higher-mileage vehicles will far outweigh the cost of new automotive technology used to meet standards for cars and light trucks in model years 2017 to 2025, currently under development by the U.S. Environmental Protection Administration and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“New clean car and truck standards will make it easier for me and my family to pursue our outdoor heritage.” said Brian Preston, an avid hunter and angler from Ida. “I can buy a truck that’s strong enough to haul a boat, efficient enough to get me to great outdoors without breaking the bank, and clean enough to protect the places I hunt and fish.”

Wednesday’s report also finds that the new standards cut oil use in Michigan by 622 million gallons per year in 2030, and eliminate 7.4 million metric tons of carbon pollution.

“It’s the equivalent of taking 1 million vehicles off the road, without taking the vehicles off the road,” said Frank Szollosi, climate and global warming associate at NWF. “The beauty of it is, we’ll be driving cleaner cars and light trucks, equipped with the latest technology, with value added and jobs created here in the industrial Midwest.”

In July, President Obama announced a consensus framework for the new 2017-2025 standards, which will ensure that new cars and trucks meet the equivalent of a 54.5 mpg fleetwide average by 2025.  Nationwide, the new analysis projected that these standards will  save Americans $44 billion a year by 2030, cut oil use by 23.6 billion gallons, and reduce global warming pollution by 280 million metric tons, making this the single biggest step this country has ever taken to get cut the nation’s dependence on oil and tackle global warming.

The framework represents an agreement among auto industry stakeholders, including automakers, auto workers, and state and federal regulators with support from environmental, conservation and consumer groups.  The Obama Administration is expected to officially propose the standards in mid-November, and finalize them next summer.

These savings underscore the need for US EPA and NHTSA to move forward in enacting a strong final standard. It also underscores that Congressional attacks against the proposed vehicle standards, if successful, would cost consumers in Michigan hundreds of millions of dollars; add to pollution of our air, land and water; and threaten the job growth associated with U.S.-based production of advanced technology vehicles.

Implementing the new car and truck standards will mean big savings for Michigan’s families, and also for the individuals and large and small businesses that rely on work trucks. Separate standards enacted this summer raise fuel efficiency for medium and heavy duty trucks, with savings to truck owners of $3,000 to $73,000 per truck. Most individual and fleet truck owners will begin saving the moment they drive off the lot, due to the reduced cost of operating vehicles with improved fuel economy.

Information on work truck savings is available in NWF’s report Trucks that Work at www.nwf.org/News-and-Magazines/Media-Center/News-by-Topic/Global-Warming/2011/08-18-11-Standards-Deliver-Trucks-That-Work-For-Wildlife-Economy.aspx

For more National Wildlife Federation news visit www.nwf.org/news.

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