shows that Americans will spend upwards of $5 billion extra on gasoline this year than due to poor automobile fuel economy policies.
Had the Bush Administration tightened fuel economy standards four years ago–mandating that cars and light trucks get 40 miles to the gallon (mpg)– American consumers would already be enjoying substantial benefits.
According to the report, the U.S. would be consuming 350,000 fewer barrels of oil per day– more than half of current U.S. imports from Iraq– if the government had mandated that the automobile industry make use of the fuel efficiency technology that already existed in 2001.
Such a decrease in fuel consumption would also reduce U.S. carbon dioxide by 23.9 million tons, significantly lowering the country’s contribution to global warming.
The PIRG report cites a National Academy of Sciences study which found that the automobile industry could increase fuel economy to 40 mpg over the next decade.
As my best buddy from high school (who’s also a Christian conservative) frequently reminds me, Americans vote their pocketbooks. This kind of information demonstrates clearly that green innovation could save working Americans a hell of a lot of money in both the short and long runs. Conservation isn’t just a “personal virtue” — it’s a component of better lives for most of us.