Portland—As Mainers get ready to hit the road this Memorial Day weekend for first-of-the-summer-road trips, a new Environment Maine report released today finds that cleaner, more fuel efficient cars would cut our gasoline use in half, reducing pollution and saving Maine households $585 this summer.
“Clean cars can help Maine families travel to beautiful places like Acadia National Park this summer without creating as much of the pollution that threatens those very places,” said Ben Seel, Clean Energy Organizer at Environment Maine.
Summer on the Road: Going Farther on a Gallon of Gas analyzes the impact that cleaner cars would have on Maine’s gasoline consumption, carbon pollution, and money spent at the pump this summer. The Obama administration has proposed fuel efficiency and global warming pollution standards that require new cars and light trucks to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. The report estimates the benefits if those standards were in place this summer (July-August).
The report finds that the standards would slash Maine’s oil consumption by 82.6 million gallons this summer, cutting oil use in our cars and trucks in half (49%) and reducing Maine’s carbon pollution by 728,605 metric tons. The standards also would save Mainers $326 million at the gas pump this summer, or $585 per household. Nationwide, the standards would reduce U.S. oil consumption by 16 billion gallons and save consumers $64 billion at the gas pump over the three-month period.
Seel noted that, thanks to the first phase of the Obama administration’s standards, which took effect this year, cleaner cars are starting to become more widely available. “Drivers can start saving gas and money immediately by trading in their gas guzzlers for the cleaner, more efficient models in showrooms today,” said Seel.
President Obama proposed the new 54.5-mpg standard this past fall. The proposal has the support of 13 major automakers, as well as the United Auto Workers and numerous environmental and consumer groups. The national standards grew out of the leadership of 14 states, including Maine, which previously adopted state-level standards.
“We simply need to get off oil, and these proposed standards will be the single biggest step our country has ever taken to get there. We applaud the Obama administration for these important standards,” concluded Seel.