Voice of the People
Support for increasing fuel efficiency standards is higher than itís been
in decades due to high gas prices, our dependence on foreign oil and rising
concern over global warming. A broad, bipartisan majority in the Senate voted
in June to raise fleetwide efficiency to 35 miles per gallon by 2020 and now
the House of Representatives has a chance to show the same kind of
Legislation sponsored by Representatives Ed Markey and Todd Platts (H.R.
1506) would raise fuel efficiency standards to 35 miles per gallon over the
next decade for all cars and light trucks, equaling a four percent annual
increase. A four percent annual increase in vehicle efficiency is supported
by President George W. Bush, national security experts and the National
Academy of Sciences, whose findings show this standard is both
technologically and economically feasible. By the year 2020, the Markey-Platt
proposal would reduce oil use by 1.6 million barrels per day and save drivers
$27 billion per year at the pump.
Unfortunately, a new proposal introduced by Representatives Baron Hill and
Lee Terry (H.R. 2927) would prevent this progress. The Hill-Terry proposal
results in an annual increase of only 1.9 percent. That bill would also, for
the first time, place a cap on improved efficiency, preventing the auto
industry from ever innovating beyond a 35-mile-per-gallon level. Furthermore,
the proposal contains several loopholes, one of which allows automakers to
delay fuel economy compliance for up to five years based on promises of
future improvement. In comparison to the Markey-Platts bill, the Terry-Hill
proposal would waste 1.1 million more barrels of oil per day and cost drivers
$26 billion more per year at the pump by the year 2020.
Please ask congress to support the bipartisan Markey-Platts bill that
utilizes sound science to implement technologically and economically feasible
fuel efficiency standards, and oppose the Hill-Terry legislation that is
dramatically weaker and provides major industry loopholes.