FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 22, 2008
CONTACT: Josh Dorner, 202.675.2384
Sierra Club Applauds Strong Start for New Fuel Economy Rules
New Standards Come as Oil, Gas Prices Shatter Records
Washington, D.C.--On December 19, 2007, President Bush signed into law the Energy Security and Independence Act, which, for the first time since 1975, raises fuel economy standards. The law directs the Department of Transportation to set fuel economy standards for new cars, minivans, SUVs, crossover vehicles, and trucks to achieve a fleet wide average fuel economy of at least 35 miles per gallon by 2020.
In response to the new law, Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters today proposed increasing the fleet wide fuel economy standard to 31.6 miles per gallon by 2015. This achieves more than half of the total progress mandated by Congress by the program's midpoint.
Statement of Ann Mesnikoff, Sierra Club Washington Representative
"Strong new rules for fuel economy couldn't come at a better time. Pain at the pump is growing more acute each day as gas prices continue to skyrocket. These new rules will put us on the path toward lower energy costs and greater energy independence.
"We welcome this important first step toward higher vehicle fuel economy, which Secretary Peters outlined today. When we hit 35 miles per gallon in 2020, we will save one million barrels of oil each day, keep billions of dollars in Americans' pockets and out of Big Oil's, and help keep millions of tons of global warming pollution out of the atmosphere.
"This shows that when Congress gives clear direction, the Department of Transportation can step up and set standards that push Detroit to take fuel-saving technologies off of its shelves and into the vehicles Americans want to buy.
"We are pleased with today's proposal, but remain extremely disappointed that the Bush administration continues to block the efforts of California and more than a dozen other states to move forward with landmark greenhouse emissions standards for vehicles.
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