WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to President Bush’s statements at a White House news conference earlier today regarding energy independence and global warming, Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-MA), the Chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, issued the following statement:

“It is refreshing to see that President Bush has finally recognized that strengthening automobile fuel economy standards is the best thing our nation could do to help reduce our demand for imported oil and our nation’s resulting vulnerability to volatility in the international oil market.  It is also encouraging to hear the President finally begin to acknowledge that human activities are causing global warming.”

“The President is correct in suggesting that a mandatory fuel standard is needed to respond to both the threat posed by our nation’s growing dependence on imported oil, and the looming catastrophe of global warming.  The problem is that the CAFE legislation the Administration has submitted to the Congress is not at all mandatory – it is discretionary and leaves the Transportation Department free to set Corporate Average Fuel Economy (or CAFE) standards at levels far less than the 4% annual increase that would be needed to achieve the President’s goals of reducing U.S. oil consumption.

“In contrast to the President’s bill, the bipartisan legislation that Rep. Platts (R-PA) and I have introduced would require a mandatory 4% increase in motor vehicle fuel economy standards over the next decade, followed by subsequent increases thereafter.  I encourage the Administration to drop its opposition to our legislation."

April 3, 2007

CONTACT: Will Huntington