11.16.11

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Proposed CAFE Standards For Light-Duty Vehicles

Finally, after three decades of putting off much-needed increases in fuel economy standards, we are taking sensible steps to reduce our dependence on oil, to save Americans money at the pump, and to cut air pollution that endangers health and contributes to climate change. 

The proposal Wednesday by the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration makes good on the President’s announcement in July and will improve the fuel economy of the cars that ordinary Americans drive every day.  Adding to the CAFE standards that were finalized earlier this year for new passenger cars and light trucks, these higher standards will boost fuel economy to nearly 55 miles per gallon by 2025.

Developed with the support of 13 carmakers, the United Auto Workers and other stakeholders, these standards will promote innovative technologies and jobs, while giving consumers better choices that will save them thousands each year.  Together, these standards will save American families $1.7 trillion dollars in fuel costs.  To individual families this means saving more than $8,000 in average fuel costs per vehicle by 2025.  Our country will also save a staggering 2.2 million barrels of oil per day by 2025, which is about half the oil we currently import from OPEC each day. 

At a time when fuel prices are rising, these are practical and cost-effective standards that will help every American by dramatically cutting the oil we consume and the pollution we produce.

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