President Obama will change America as we know it with new fuel rules
He and members of his administration have put plans in place to create a national program that will dramatically improve efficiencies for automobiles sold from 2017 to 2025.
“This agreement on fuel standards represents the single most important step we’ve ever taken as a nation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” President Obama said in a presentation he delivered around lunchtime.
“Most of the companies here today were part of an agreement we reached two years ago to raise the fuel efficiency of their cars over the next five years. We’ve set an aggressive target and the companies are stepping up to the plate. By 2025, the average fuel economy of their vehicles will nearly double to almost 55 miles per gallon.”
The president was joined on stage today at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, several auto executives and UAW President Bob King. These individuals have signed onto and been instrumental in achieving this historic agreement. The participating auto companies are also providing advanced technology vehicles to display at the event.
“These standards will help spur economic growth, protect the environment and strengthen our national security by reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil,” LaHood said. “Working together, we are setting the stage for a new generation of clean vehicles.”
President Obama (pictured) spoke to an audience of 250 people, including representatives from the auto companies, UAW employees, environmental leaders, union representatives and members of Congress.
Thirteen companies were represented today, including Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Chrysler, BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar / Land Rover, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota and Volvo. Together these companies account for more than 90% of all vehicles sold in America. Volkswagen told TN reporter Richard Gray that the German carmaker does not support the program as it was presented today.
But U.S. officials are happy with what in general is compliance from the auto industry. “This is another important step toward saving money for drivers, breaking our dependence on imported oil and cleaning up the air we breathe,” said Jackson, administrator of the EPA.
“American consumers are calling for cleaner cars that won’t pollute their air or break their budgets at the gas pump, and our innovative American automakers are responding with plans for some of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in our history.”
OEMs appear excited by the challenges ahead.
"Honda embraces this new challenge and we welcome the competition we will have with other automakers that will result from these new standards, because it will benefit both our customers and the health of the planet," John Mendel, American Honda executive VP of sales, told reporters after the announcement.
Toyota said it will work "constructively" with President Obama and his team.
"The long-term objectives of this program are very ambitious, and we intend to meet the challenge," said James Lentz, president of Toyota Motor Sales USA.