As worldwide concern mounts about global climate change and the role of human activities in increasing greenhouse gases (GHG), few areas are more problematic than U.S. transportation. Motor vehicles account for two-thirds of all American oil consumption and one-third of U.S. GHG emissions. Globally, transportation in the U.S. is responsible for 8 percent of all global warming pollution, and roughly 17 percent of all oil use.
In 2007, Congress passed and President Bush signed into law the first increase in fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks in more than 30 years, requiring automakers to boost fleet-wide gas mileage to 35 miles per gallon by the year 2020. The Pew Campaign for Fuel Efficiency played a critical role in working with Congress and the administration to make this historic event happen.
The new standards are expected to save 1.1 million barrels of oil a day and $25 billion for consumers at the pump each year. Those reductions are equivalent to taking 28 million cars off the roads, making the auto industry the first American economic sector to take meaningfully steps towards reducing carbon emissions.