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Driving the SmartWay: EPA Debuts New Campaign to Help Drivers Save Fuel, Money and Protect the Environment

Release Date: 07/03/2008
Contact Information: Marilyn Franklin, (202) 564-4355 / franklin.marilyn@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. - July 3, 2008) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching the SmartWay Leaf Campaign to encourage consumers to purchase SmartWay-certified cars and trucks. SmartWay is an innovative partnership among government, businesses, and consumers designed to protect the environment, cut fuel consumption, and improve air quality while reducing greenhouse gases. The national campaign features broadcast, radio, and print public service announcements that will help consumers recognize the SmartWay leaf as a symbol of cleaner and more fuel efficient transportation choices.

“Thanks to EPA’s SmartWay Leaf campaign, Americans can save green by buying green,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “By considering fuel use when shopping for new cars and trucks, consumers are in the driver’s seat to save money and protect our environment.”

The campaign encourages consumers to “buy smart” simply by looking for the EPA SmartWay certification mark on cars and trucks when shopping for a new or used vehicle. Roughly 20 percent of all vehicles -- covering a wide variety of makes and models -- qualify as clean and green enough to be SmartWay-certified.

EPA scores vehicles according to their environmental impact. SmartWay-certified vehicles are the best environmental performers, as measured by a combination of their emission levels of greenhouse gases, hydrocarbons, nitrous oxides, and other pollutants. If every light duty vehicle in the country were SmartWay-certified, carbon dioxide emissions would decrease by about 214 billion pounds annually. That’s equivalent to the emissions from nearly 20 million vehicles each year.

The new campaign builds on the previous outreach efforts to inform drivers about ways they can save fuel and protect the environment, like the recent Alliance to Save Energy’s Drive $marter Challenge campaign launched this past May.

Even with their current vehicle, there is a lot drivers can do to cut down on fuel use. It is important to maintain a reasonable speed and avoid rapid accelerations and braking. Vehicles should be well-maintained with properly inflated tires and clean air filters. Finally, try to decrease vehicle use by walking or biking, combining errands into one trip, and using public transportation where available.

For more information about SmartWay, visit: epa.gov/smartway

To visit EPA’s Green Vehicle Guide, go to: epa.gov/greenvehicles

To learn about the Drive $marter Challenge, go to: http://www.DriveSmarterChallenge.org