If you or anyone you know has thought about buying a new car recently, you’ve probably thought about fuel efficiency. You’re not the only one. Last week the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency issued new fuel efficiency standards, setting the first-ever national greenhouse gas emissions standards.
DOT and EPA relied on the opinions of average American folks like you and me in setting the fuel efficiency standards. They received more than 130,000 public comments on the proposed rules, according to a press release from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
This is an important step in moving toward a clean energy economy. The average buyer of a 2016 model year car will save $3,000 over the life of the vehicle. Better than that, our country will conserve about 1.8 billion barrels of oil and reduce nearly a billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the lives of the vehicles, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told the Washington Post.
"These historic new standards set ambitious but achievable fuel economy requirements for the automotive industry that will also encourage new and emerging technologies," LaHood said. "We will be helping American motorists save money at the pump while putting less pollution in the air."
What do these new standards mean for our state? MPR says that folks in Minnesota could save $600 million a year and avoid two million metric tons of global warming pollution.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area is the 11th most energy-efficient city in the country. According to Fresh Energy, Minnesota’s efficiency is expected to save us $36.4 million. Just think how much more money we’ll be able to put back in our pockets thanks to these new fuel efficiency standards in the next six years!
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