Clean cars would save Michigan residents money, slash oil use and pollution this summer

For Immediate Release

MICHIGAN – As Michigan residents get ready for summer road trips, an Environment Michigan Research & Policy Center report finds that cleaner, more fuel efficient cars would significantly slash oil consumption and global warming pollution across the state.

The report, Summer on the Road: Going Farther on a Gallon of Gas, was released as the Obama administration is on the verge of finalizing fuel efficiency and global warming pollution standards for cars and light trucks that achieve a 54.5 mpg standard by 2025.

“Clean cars can help Michigan families travel to beautiful places like Sleeping Bear Dunes this summer, without creating as much of the pollution that threatens those very places,” said John Cross, federal transportation advocate for Environment Michigan.  “As hot as this summer is shaping up to be, the last thing we need is more oil burning in our cars and more global warming pollution heating up our atmosphere. But in some of the cars and trucks out there today, a gallon of gas disappears more quickly than a snowball in July. Let’s beat the heat by getting cleaner cars on the road with the Obama administration’s proposed clean car standard."

If the cars and trucks on the road today met the proposed 54.5 mpg standard, it would slash statewide oil dependence by more than 542 million gallons and cut our global warming pollution by 4.7 million metric tons this summer alone. That’s the equivalent of taking more than four coal plants offline for the whole summer. Those savings mean we would burn less cash too, saving the average Michigan family $493 at the pump in a summer.

“Not only could you take that family trip while burning much less oil along the way, but you could book the family a hotel for a couple of extra days with the money you’re saving,” Cross said. “The only solution that will relieve the pain we’re feeling at the pump is the one that will protect Michigan’s environment and health too. Our oil dependence doesn’t just cost us at the pump—it threatens our shores with spills like the disaster in the Gulf, spews toxic pollution into our air, and contributes more to global warming than any other fuel. We simply need to get off oil, and a strong, 54.5 mpg clean car standard would be the single biggest step we’ve ever taken. We applaud the Obama administration for its work to make these benefits a reality.” 

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. These national standards grew out of the leadership of 14 states, led by California, which previously adopted state-level standards.