In this week’s commentary on WAMC Northeast Public Radio, Pace Energy & Climate Center Executive Director, Franz Litz, discusses new agreements forged by President Obama and the EPA to radically improve fuel efficiency in America.
When President Obama took office, there were high expectations for investments in clean energy and a reduced reliance on foreign oil. Since the midterm election, however, gridlock in Washington has stymied those plans and hindered the EPA’s progress.
Litz says, “As with so many other national priorities stymied by political gridlock, on climate change and clean energy we watched as “Oh yes we can!” gave way to smaller hopes for incremental change.”
Despite the obstacles in Congress, President Obama and the EPA, along with the United Autoworkers Union, the states, the Department of Transportation, and the automakers, themselves, have agreed that by 2030, cars and trucks will get 54.5 miles per gallon on average. Litz cites this progress as “a revolution in vehicle efficiency.”
Meeting this goal will save America billions of gallons of oil every year, a savings that will be passed on to the consumer. “According to government estimates, the fuel savings over the life of the average vehicle will provide a net savings of between $3,000 and $4,400 per vehicle” says Litz.
“So Obama hasn’t solved the climate change problem in his first three years in office — we did hope for more. But what we got is a better start on the problem than any previous president was able to deliver.”