I love the smell of solutions in the morning!
The Obama Administration brewed 'em up strong today, finalizing new passenger vehicle standards that will roughly double fuel economy by 2025, to 54.5 mpg.
By KC Golden
The Obama Administration brewed 'em up strong today, finalizing new passenger vehicle standards that will roughly double fuel economy by 2025, to 54.5 mpg. The White House press release is here.
It’s the biggest single federal policy action to date to reduce climate pollution while boosting the economy. The standards will save consumers over $1.7 trillion – that’s money that will recirculate through local economies, creating more jobs, instead of being squandered on oil.
(It hardly matters whether the oil is drilled in America or abroad; in almost every community in America, oil sucks out much more money than it brings in. In King County, Washington, for example, our local economy will lose over $5 billion this year – roughly the size of the whole County budget – just to fetch oil. Economically, environmentally, and politically, all oil is foreign.)
The fuel economy standards are the product of decades of relentless advocacy, and a successful strategy of using state leadership to drive federal progress. Climate Solutions is proud to have been a part of that strategy, passing Clean Car standards in Washington and Oregon in 2005 and 2006.
…“Climate Solutions” is a big hairy audacious name for a small regional organization. Where do we get off, championing local solutions to the ultimate global problem?
We know the Northwest can’t address climate disruption by itself, or in isolation, or with Cascadian visions that only apply here. So we plan our programs and campaigns to catalyze solutions at the scale of the problem – solutions we can drive locally, while helping to build models and momentum for sweeping changes in technology, policy, and practice.
Clean Cars is a classic example. We fought hard for the stronger vehicle emission standards in Washington, and won. Governor Chris Gregoire called it the biggest environmental achievement in a decade. Oregon soon followed suit, forming a West Coast Clean Car bloc with California. The groundswell of state action ultimately drove national policy, culminating with today’s announcement.
The new fuel economy standards are a huge step forward. Enough to halt climate disruption? Of course not – no single step is. But enough to demonstrate that relentless determination and local leadership can make a big difference? Enough to show that big solutions are available and economically attractive, if we have the will to win them? Yup, plenty.