More Fuel Efficient Cars Will Save Illinois $6.7 Billion Annually and Create Over 72,000 New Jobs
CHICAGO, April 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As gasoline prices in the U.S. reach record highs, The Environmental Law & Policy Center has released a new analysis showing that promoting high-performing fuel efficient cars is the best way to keep fuel costs from draining the state's economy. With gas prices at $5 per gallon, Illinois consumers would save $6.7 billion at the pump each year by driving vehicles with an average fuel efficiency of 30 MPG. Billions in savings would go back into the local economy and create over 72,000 new jobs in the state, according to modeling from the University of Illinois' Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL).
"Diving cleaner cars would keep $6.7 billion in Illinois' economy," said Howard Learner, Executive Director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center. "That $6.7 billion boost would create 72,000 new jobs in Illinois, while reducing pollution and increasing our energy independence."
Illinois drivers consumed about 4.9 billion gallons of gasoline in 2009, and their vehicles averaged 21.7 MPG. If the average fuel efficiency increased to 30 MPG, the state would save 1.3 billion gallons of fuel and $6.7 billion with gas at $5 per gallon.
The majority of those savings would go back into the local economy, creating new jobs and business growth in Illinois. Illinois imports all of its oil so buying gasoline sends local dollars out of state and overseas, while gas savings create local benefits. "Gas prices are a drain on Illinois' economy, and no amount of drilling will change that," said Learner. "The best way to protect consumers from high gas prices is to put policies in place that promote fuel efficient vehicles."
Federal Clean Car standards will require new vehicles to average 34.1 miles per gallon by 2016 and will help Illinois realize these savings. Other state and local initiatives such as electric car charging infrastructure, off-peak vehicle charging rates and the development of regional high-speed rail and improved public transportation will all serve to save Illinois consumers money at the pump and keep more dollars in the local economy.
Download ELPC's White Paper at www.elpc.org/ilcleancars.
The Environmental Law & Policy Center is the Midwest's leading environmental legal advocacy and eco-business innovation organization. www.ELPC.org.
SOURCE Environmental Law & Policy Center