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NRDC Report: Cleaner Cars Drive Benefits for Health & Wallets

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The clean car policies of the Biden administration will deliver unprecedented benefits to the American people, including billions of dollars of savings, more vehicle options and less pollution, a new report from NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) shows.

The report, Cleaner Cars, Fatter Walletscompiles new and existing data to demonstrate the broad benefits of federal incentives and tailpipe emission standards. It includes new data showing that the combination of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act and the EPA clean car standards will slash carbon pollution from vehicles by the unprecedented scale of nearly 8 billion metric tons over the next three decades.

“The Biden administration’s clean car policies are steering us to a better future, one with lower costs and more options for drivers — and much less of the pollution driving climate change,” said Luke Tonachel, the author of the report and a senior strategist for transportation at NRDC.

Cleaner Cars, Fatter Wallets compiles a wide range of data to show these benefits from the current policies:

  • $6,000 lifetime savings for those buying a new vehicle in 2032;
  • a surge in battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle sales, reaching 10 million by 2032 — 2.5 times what they would be without these policies;
  • the reduction of nearly 8 billion tons of carbon emissions, more than the entire U.S. economy emits in a year;
  • fewer heart attacks, lung illnesses, and asthma attacks, resulting in $13 billion a year in avoided health-care costs between 2026 and 2055.

“We are in the awkward early days of these vehicle policies, and far too many are using every small hill as an excuse to argue against the road we are on. But changing course now would be a terrible mistake,” Tonachel said. “The minor twists and turns we may face over the coming months and years will soon disappear as our momentum grows and progress builds on progress.”

“This data shows we are on the right road, and we need to stay the course to deliver all the benefits that are possible,” he said.

Here is a telling chart from the report:

Here’s the report again: Cleaner Cars, Fatter Wallets: The Current U.S. Clean Vehicles Policy Package Will Deliver Climate, Health, and Economic Benefits for All 

By Mark Drajem and Elizabeth Heyd, NRDC.

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Established in 1970, NRDC uses science, policy, law and people power to confront the climate crisis, protect public health and safeguard nature. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Beijing and Delhi (an office of NRDC India Pvt. Ltd)

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NRDC is the nation's most effective environmental action group, combining the grassroots power of 1.3 million members and online activists with the courtroom clout and expertise of more than 350 lawyers, scientists, and other professionals.

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