COLUMBIA - President Obama's administration is set to announce historic new fuel efficiency standards this week. The new requirements will make it so cars and light trucks must get an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.
Officials say that automakers across the country, including members of the Big 13, like Honda, GM and BMW, already have a running start in designing vehicles to meet these standards.
Reports show that this is just what consumers are looking for; the first six months of 2012 marked the most purchases of fuel efficient vehicles ever.
"People are buying smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles because gas prices are just so expensive right now," said BlueGreen Alliance deputy communication director Eric Steen.
With the new standards in place, drivers nationwide can expect to save money...Missouri residents will save an estimated 1.725 billion dollars at the pump.
"These new cars might cost a little bit more, but as soon as you drive off the lot, you'll be getting your money's worth from the car. With the new standards, you'll make back any extra costs in the first few months because of your fuel savings at the pump, and the car will have paid for itself within the first three years. And after that, you're essentially making money off your car," said Ronald Hwang, the Transportation Program Director for the National Resources Defense Council.
Along with saving money, there are other benefits as well.
Experts say the standards will also bring 14,000 jobs to Missouri.
It will also decrease America's dependence on oil, both foreign and domestic. By 2030, officials estimate the U.S. will cut its oil usage by at least a third of what is used to generate fuel today.
And one of the biggest benefits is that the standards will drastically reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions. In Missouri, 4.81 million metric tons of harmful CO2 gas will not be released into the air.
Some legislators have lobbied to delay the release of these new standards citing concerns such as: compromising consumer safety, limiting consumer choice, and additional initial costs when buying a new vehicle.
Hwang says these concerns have been considered and won't be an issue as they move forward.