Rep. Markey Calls for 35 mpg Standard in Energy Bill Conference

WASHINGTON, D.C. –According to a new report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the combined car and light truck fuel economy of new vehicles sold in the United States in 2007 was 20.2 miles per gallon (mpg) – slightly lower than the 20.5 mpg level first reached in 1981. Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, released the following statement in response to the report:

“We cannot afford to be stuck in the 1980s when it comes to fuel economy. 25 years of technical advancement and here we are – back where we started, but this time around we’re dependent on foreign sources for 60 percent of our oil and heat-trapping emissions are endangering our planet. The auto industry claims that Americans just don’t want to buy efficient vehicles and that the solution is to impose a gasoline tax in order to force drivers to change their ways. But the truth is that less than four percent of all cars available for sale in 2006 got more than 30 mpg


“Instead of doing their part to reduce our dangerous oil dependence and harmful carbon dioxide emissions, the auto industry is engaged in endless litigation to prevent state enactment of strong car emissions standards, endless opposition to congressional enactment of a strong 35 mpg fuel economy standard, and endless attempts to shift the blame for the problem and the responsibility for solving it onto American consumers.


“We’re smarter than this, we have the technology to do better, and consumers want better cars. Let’s stop the stall tactics, and assume our responsibility to move this industry out of the 1980s and into the 21st century by passing a strong 35 mpg fuel economy standard this year.”


America’s cars and trucks contribute over 20 percent of heat-trapping pollution, and America’s dependence on imported oil has risen to 60 percent after more than two decades of no fuel economy increases. A report released in June prepared for the International Council on Clean Transportation found that in 2006, less than four percent of all cars available for sale got more than 30 mpg.


September 27, 2007

CONTACT: Jessica Schafer, 202.225.2836