The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed new pollution-reducing standards for cars in gasoline Friday, saying the move will save thousands of lives and and have significant positive impact on the environment, though champions of the oil industry are critical of the proposal.

The new "standards for cars and gasoline that will significantly reduce harmful pollution, prevent thousands of premature deaths and illnesses, while also enabling efficiency improvements in the cars and trucks we drive," and EPA statement said.

The standards for cleaner fuel are historic for fuel efficiency in the U.S., including a goal of slashing smog-forming pollutants by 80 percent.

"Today's proposed standards - which will save thousands of lives and protect the most vulnerable -- are the next step in our work to protect public health and will provide the automotive industry with the certainty they need to offer the same car models in all 50 states," said EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe in the statement.

Part of the move is a call for lower sulfur levels in gasoline, which will reduce pollution, but also raise the price of gas by about one penny.

NPR reports that the oil industry is opposing the the proposition, saying the it will add up to nine cents per gallon to the cost of gasoline.

"There is a tsunami of federal regulations coming out of the EPA that could put upward pressure on gasoline prices," said Bob Greco, a director at the American Petroleum Institute, according to CNN

If passed, the new rules on low-sulfur gasoline would go into effect in 2017 and the full environmental and health impact would be realized a decade later, the EPA stated.

"We estimate the rule will reduce smog by 30%" when fully implemented, said Bill Becker, executive director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, CNN reported.