U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Clean Air Subcommittee, today praised President Obama, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator for the actions announced today to reduce America's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
"Marylanders and all Americans have a right to clean air. Cars that will meet the new greenhouse gas standards will help clear our air of pollutants that contribute to smog. For years, when the federal government refused to act, Maryland and other states fought for increased fuel standards in an effort to help our environment by reducing dangerous vehicle emissions. Finally, we have an administration that not only understands the need to address greenhouse gas pollutants but is willing to take bold action to make our air cleaner and fueling our cars and trucks less expensive," said Senator Cardin. "Today's announcement also increases our economic security and national security, by helping to cut our dependence on foreign oil."
The Obama Administration announced it is establishing a new 35.5 mile per gallon (mpg) Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard for vehicles sold in the United States starting in 2012 which is estimated to cut carbon dioxide emissions to 280 grams per mile for an automakers entire vehicle fleet. This new standard, is established in accordance with an April 2007 Supreme Court decision requiring the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act, and becomes the first-ever national greenhouse emissions standard promulgated under the Clean Air Act. It would match the final goal of what has become known as the "California Waiver," which would have allowed states like Maryland to adopt major pollution reduction measures that would reduce harmful emissions by 30% in all vehicles sold by 2016 as well as provide major reductions in summertime smog.