July 29, 2011: Markey: 54.5 MPG Fuel Economy Standard Strikes at Heart of OPEC
Co-author of 2007 Mileage Standards Hails Presidential Acceleration of Fuel Efficiency Program
WASHINGTON (July 29, 2011) – The latest phase of fuel economy standards to be announced today by President Obama will result in total savings of 3.5 million barrels of oil a day by 2030, helping to break America’s longstanding dependence on foreign oil. Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the House co-author of the legislative standards that triggered today’s announcement, praised the president for aggressively implementing the goals of Markey’s legislation.
“These fuel efficiency standards strike at the heart of the oil cartel that has held America in a stranglehold for decades, constricting our economic growth, threatening our national security and poisoning our planet,” said Rep. Markey, the Ranking Member of the Natural Resources Committee and a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. “This is a groundbreaking moment in our energy history that will finally help shatter the bonds of our dependence on Middle East oil.”
The 54.5 mpg standard was enabled by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which included fuel economy standards co-authored by Rep. Markey and championed by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). That law included Markey language that said the standard must be at least 35 mpg by 2020, and that the “maximum feasible standard” must be set every year. The bill was signed by President George W. Bush in December, 2007.
The fuel economy legislation, combined with the 2007 Supreme Court decision of Massachusetts v. the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which affirmed the agency’s authority to reduce greenhouse gas pollution from automobiles, paved the way for today’s announcement.
That bill also included provisions to require the deployment of advanced biofuels. Combined, the fuel efficiency and biofuels provisions will save 5.1 million barrels of oil per day by 2030. The United States currently imports 4.6 million barrels of oil per day from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Rep. Markey first offered his fuel economy amendment in 2001, following years of Republican legislative riders that prevented fuel economy increases from being adopted. He brought his legislation up for a vote in successive sessions of Congress, finally succeeding in his attempts in the 2007 energy bill.
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