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As the dog days of summer continue to bake much of the country, causing record breaking drought and scorching heat, it's time to consider a dog's view of doubling the fuel efficiency of America's new cars and cutting their carbon pollution in half.

Although...it does depend on the dog:

As summer heat continues, we have some cool news to look forward to. Next month, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation are expected to issue the final new fuel efficiency and carbon pollution standards for the new cars that will be sold between 2017 and 2025.  

These standards, building on those already in place for new vehicles starting this year and running through 2016, will double the fuel efficiency and halve the carbon pollution our new vehicles emit.  

The money, oil, and carbon savings from doubling efficiency are huge. In 2030 these standards will save 3.5 million barrels of oil every day, save Americans a net of $150 billion, and keep at least 640 million tons of climate pollution out of the atmosphere.

Benefits like these are why Americans continue to strongly support setting a high bar for fuel efficiency and reducing pollution. A recent poll by the Consumer Federation of America shows that:

-- 88% said the U.S. should reduce oil consumption;

-- Those who said that it is a "very important" goal want to get at least five more miles per gallon fuel economy from their next vehicle;

-- 74% said the new 54.5 mpg standards are a good idea;

-- Significantly, 66% said they'd support the higher standards even if that meant higher sticker prices.

That strong support for strong standards was loud and clear last fall when more than 500 people turned out at hearings in Philadelphia, San Francisco and Detroit applauding the proposed standards from , the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation.  More than 280,000 comments were sent to the Administration saying YES to strong standards.

"It is clear that consumers have a growing appetite for fuel economy," said Mark Cooper of the Consumer Federation of America. "As more fuel-efficient vehicles penetrate the market, I fully expect the preference for even higher fuel economy to strengthen."

And it is - the public is responding:  

Sales of vehicles featuring alternative power sources also jumped during the first six months of the year as gasoline prices rose. The segment, which includes traditional hybrids, plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles, posted sales growth of 71 percent through June. The Toyota Prius led the segment with 126,654 unit sales, a 90 percent increase over last year.
So doubling up is great news for vehicle owners (and those of us with dogs will remember to stop for walks!)
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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    Learn more about the Sierra Club's Green Transportation Campaign. www.sierraclub.org/transportation

    by Ann Mesnikoff on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 12:49:59 PM PDT

  •  Do we have any gasoline cars at 54 mpg currently? (0+ / 0-)

    I mean, even the Prius hybrid only gets around 50 mpg or so, and that's not a standard gasoline vehicle.

    I guess we're assuming there's going to be a lot of electric vehicles on the road?

  •  I'm getting 2,500 MPG in my Volt (4+ / 0-)

    I've driven 12,200 electrical miles since December and I still have half a tank left.   My Volt has never been to a gas station.   Well, I did go through a car wash once!

    Electric is definitely the way to go.   Comparing my Volt to a car that gets 25 MPG, my 12,200 miles represents a savings of 488 gallons.   In that same time, I have gone 139 miles using the engine.

    I average around 1,500 miles/month.   My electrical costs for that is around $40.   This works out to around 37 miles / dollar.

    •  Approximately how much would that cost you (0+ / 0-)

      in gas per month?

      Haven't driven in decades, but I live on a major street, and I'm looking forward to much less air pollution in the future, so I follow electric car news.

      Would also be much more quiet here.

  •  A couple of engines (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey

    That have caught my eye lately is FIAT's 875cc twin air two cylinder and Ford's 1 liter three cylinder. The technology behind these two are outstanding. The Europeans have hit hard on CO2 emissions.

    Here's a vid of the twin air without any narration.

    And the Ford's with nice narration.

    I don't expect big luxurious Buicks ever getting 50mpg, but that's OK with me!

    "Romney's vision of humanity is just a million tons of meat floating around in a sea of base calculations." —Susan Madrak

    by Crider on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 04:43:45 PM PDT

  •  MPG standards better than nothing? Not great. (0+ / 0-)

    The problem with better MPG standards is that people use a lot of the fuel savings to finance...more driving. They drive to work instead of taking public transit, or a bicycle. They buy a house 15 miles away from work, instead of 10, or 2. Local and state political agendas remain free of any discussion of expanding public transit, cutting fares, building bike lanes or sidewalks, or changing zoning laws to require livable, walkable, bikeable, mixed-use communities.

    This is just a modern manifestation of an old economic phenomenon, the Jevons paradox:

    In economics, the Jevons paradox (sometimes Jevons effect) is the proposition that technological progress that increases the efficiency with which a resource is used tends to increase (rather than decrease) the rate of consumption of that resource.[1] In 1865, the English economist William Stanley Jevons observed that technological improvements that increased the efficiency of coal use led to increased consumption of coal in a wide range of industries. He argued that, contrary to intuition, technological improvements could not be relied upon to reduce fuel consumption.
    We need to bite the bullet and impose a greenhouse tax (or cap-and-trade) to raise the cost of burning fossil fuel enough to reflect its "externalized costs"--a warming planet, respiratory problems, cancer, etc.

    And oh yes, we could use a smidgen more revenue because it turns out we have a bit of an, um, national debt thingy.

    Anything less than raising the price of fossil fuels won't really work, because of an even older economic phenomenon:

    There's no such thing as a free lunch.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 07:57:48 PM PDT

    •  I'd be down for rationing greenhouse gases. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ozsea1

      And I've read about what Jevons was saying, before.  But there's still a definite upside.  For one thing, I live farther than I'd like from the places I go the most.  I didn't exactly choose that; it's what I can afford.  

      This is true of a lot of low income people, who are being pushed out of cities and forced to commute as the cities gentrify and people with means choose to live in central cities.  Meanwhile, the suburbs do not have the resources or jobs that the cities do, and may not have the public transportation.  Deliberately not have, in fact, as some places have chosen to keep out "undesireables" by simply making living there impossible.

      © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

      by cai on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 06:57:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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