Friday, June 24, 2011

Clean Cars Would Save Pennsylvanians $2.4 Billion at the Gas Pump This Summer

Clean Cars Would Save Pennsylvanians $2.4 Billion at the Gas Pump This Summer

By Megan Fitzpatrick,, 215.732.5897 / 609.647.1526

With kids getting out of K-12 schools and July 4th weekend fast approaching, many families are thinking about how high gas prices will impact their summer travel plans. A new PennEnvironment report finds that more fuel-efficient cars would save every Pennsylvanian family an average of $452 at the gas pump this summer alone. The report was released as the Obama administration is developing new fuel efficiency and global warming pollution standards for cars and light trucks.

“Pennsylvanians shouldn’t have to spend their summers worrying about how they will afford to drive, let alone whether their children are breathing air pollution, and whether their beaches are safe from oil spills. President Obama should take a bold step to solve all of these problems and put cleaner cars in the fast lane,” said Megan Fitzpatrick, Federal Field Associate at PennEnvironment.

This report shows that by helping consumers burn less oil, cleaner cars would mean we burn less cash too, saving Pennsylvanians $2.5 billion over the summer. “Not only could you afford that roadtrip to the beach, but you could book a hotel and stick around for a week with the money you’ve saved.”

Based on current gas prices, Pennsylvanians are expected to spend more than $4.8 billion at the gas pump over the course of the summer. Since no relief is in sight for the price of gas and our oil consumption continues to have dire consequences for our health and environment as well, PennEnvironment pointed to reducing our dependence on oil as the only viable solution.

“In these tough economic times, it is my firm belief that we must do as much as we can to rid ourselves of foreign supplies of oil,” said Lehigh County Commissioner Percy Dougherty. “By increasing fuel efficiency and supporting cleaner cars, we can do that.”

Requiring cars and trucks to meet a 60 mpg standard would be a major step toward getting off oil and decreasing pollution, reducing Pennsylvania’s oil consumption over the summer by 630 million gallons and reducing dangerous carbon dioxide pollution by nearly 6 million metric tons.

“Dirty emissions from single-passenger cars are the major contributor to the air quality crisis our region faces. A truly clean commuter fleet is something we support, and we need President Obama to go forward with making clean cars a reality.” said Cocca, Outreach Coordinator for the Air Quality Partnership of Lehigh Valley-Berks.

Last year, recognizing the benefits of increasing fuel efficiency and decreasing our oil dependence, the Obama administration set standards for new cars and trucks built between 2012 and 2016 that will save billions of gallons of fuel.

Today, PennEnvironment called on President Obama to take the next step and move clean cars into the fast lane by making 60 miles per gallon cars the norm and not the exception to the rule.

“This summer, we should remember that clean cars could make our fun in the sun all that much better, creating huge benefits for Pennsylvania’s families, our economy and our environment,” said Fitzpatrick. “We need the Obama administration to push ahead with the clean car standards that will make these benefits a reality.”

PennEnvironment is a statewide, citizen-funded environmental advocacy group that works for a cleaner, greener future.

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