By Mitch Hescox
For the first time since 1985, Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards have been finalized, raising fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles to 54.5 mpg by 2025. 10 years after What Would Jesus Drive we finally have higher fuel economy standards that consumers are demanding. This is good for our wallets, human health, job creation, and national security.
With the standards announced today the average family will still save from $6,000 to $8,000 through the life of the vehicle primarily through lower fuel costs. About 45 percent of our daily petroleum use goes toward driving our cars and light trucks — 3.1 billion barrels per year, the equivalent of 620 Gulf Oil Spills.
Soot, smog, ozone-forming volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxide and carbon pollution contribute mightily to polluted air across the US. While we have made progress, 41% of Americans still suffer pollution levels that are too dangerous to breathe according to the American Lung Associations’ State of The Air 2012 Report.
Fuel millage has had bi-partisan consensus for years, check out this brief history graphic for what happened.
This time, retired military, carmakers, labor unions, health care professionals, and other stakeholders all speak in favor of these standards. There is broad bipartisan support for the need for fuel economy standards, the first fuel economy standards were signed by President Gerald Ford. When making a car purchase 42 percent of consumers, in a recent Maritz Research study, now rate fuel economy as a top priority.
In 2002, EEN launched What Would Jesus Drive an educational campaign, which included a 30-second TV spot. That next summer EEN did a 14-city What Would Jesus Drive Bible Belt Tour with speaking engagements at local churches.
We’d love to see even further innovation. When companies invest in what consumers are demanding and what’s good for God’s creation, it’s a win win. Let’s work together to set a high standard of excellence that will encourage America’s true entrepreneurial spirit.
Check out the original What Would Jesus Drive TV spot below:
Mitch Hescox is the President & CEO of the Evangelical Environmental Network.