Obama Administration Unveils Plan to Further Tighten Fuel Efficiency Standards

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. -- President Obama announced today that his administration will construct the next phase of tighter fuel efficiency standards for medium and heavy-duty vehicles.

Today's announcement by the President -- delivered at a distribution center for the grocery chain Safeway Inc. in Upper Marlboro, Md. -- backs a pledge to reduce the United States' dependency on foreign oil and decrease fuel prices at the pump that he made during last month's State of the Union Address.

Obama called upon the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Transportation Department's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to develop and issue the new fuel-efficiency and greenhouse gas standards by March 31, 2016.

"We're going to double the distance our cars and light trucks can go on a gallon of gas by 2025," Obama said, according to a USA Today report.

Heavy-duty vehicles account for only 4 percent of registered vehicles currently on the road in the U.S., the newspaper added. But these vehicles account for 25 percent of road-fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions coming from the transportation sector.

Based on the prior round of tighter fuel standards finalized by the Obama Administration in 2011, the White House believes the country will save approximately 530 million barrels of oil and reduce gas emissions by 270 million metric tons annually.

The Obama Administration is currently offering tax credits to gas stations that are building the proper infrastructure so that vehicles can fill up with alternative fuels.

Miles traveled by vehicles in the U.S. has declined every year since 2007, thanks in part to tighter fuel restrictions, cars providing better fuel economy and an alleged desire by many consumers -- primarily Millennials -- to avoid purchasing "gas guzzler" vehicles.

The White House selected the Safeway distribution center because it believes the grocery chain has made big strides in improving the efficiency of its trucking fleet.

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