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Report highlights the benefits of fuel efficiency

February 5, 2013

Consumers Union: New Report Highlights the Consumer Benefits of Fuel Efficiency
Union for Concerned Scientists Looks at Where Your Gas Money Goes
WASHINGTON, DC – Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports applauded the release of a new report examining where consumers’ gas money truly goes and how fuel efficient vehicles can change that. A report released this week by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) found that while the money consumers spend on gasoline may help boost oil company profits, those profits are not finding their way back to local communities.

“This report gives further evidence that the ones really benefitting from gas sales are the oil companies. Very little of what consumers spend at the pump goes back to their local gas station or community, and even those who have invested in oil companies will see less than a penny return on the thousands of dollars they’re spending on gasoline,” said Shannon Baker-Branstetter, policy counsel for Consumers Union. “On the other hand, consumers who purchase fuel efficient vehicles could directly save thousands of dollars over the life of their vehicle and put the savings back into the local economy.”

The UCS report took an in-depth look at where the money consumers paid at the pump actually went. On average, $33 of $50 spent by a consumer will go directly to oil companies. Furthermore, your local gas station owner sees just 81 cents of an average $50 fill-up.

An April 2012 survey by Consumer Reports found that fuel economy was the most important consideration to consumers when shopping for their next car. It also found strong support for the increased fuel-efficiency standards, where almost 80 percent of consumers agreed or strongly agreed that “fuel economy standards should require auto manufacturers to increase the overall fleet average to at least 55 miles per gallon.”

Baker-Branstetter said, “There’s no question that fuel economy and gas prices are on consumers’ minds when they go to purchase a vehicle. This report illustrates an important fact – the best return on investment that consumers can see at the pump is through more fuel efficient vehicles.”

To read the full report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, visit www.ucsusa.org.