If the United States hopes to secure its energy future and reduce its reliance on imported oil, it must stop being a gas hog on the road.
Currently, the United States consumes 22 percent of the world's oil, with roughly half of that needed to produce motor fuels for cars and trucks. This wasteful consumption of fossil fuels is costly to our economy and dangerous for public health and the environment. To chart a new course, we must build smarter communities and transit systems and drive cleaner and more efficient vehicles.
On Thursday, the Obama administration took a step in that direction by adopting new standards for automobile fuel economy and greenhouse emissions. The standards mirror those adopted by California in 2004 that were fought fiercely, and unsuccessfully, by the auto industry.
These new federal standards call for new vehicles to average 35.5 miles per gallon in 2016, up nearly 10 mpg from the current average. If implemented and not sidetracked by Congress, these standards could save 11.6 billion gallons of gasoline annually starting in 2016, and reduce greenhouse pollution by 108 million metric tons yearly.
To read the complete editorial, visit www.sacbee.com.