October 7, 2005- Energy Bill Provides No Conservation Measures for Consumers

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), a senior Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, today made the following statement in response to the decision by Republicans to prevent debate on the bipartisan amendment to improve the fuel economy of cars and light trucks that he submitted with Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY):

"Today, Republicans have shown once again that their drive to gut environmental laws and shower Big Oil with billions of dollars in government giveaways swamps their interest in responding to American families left paying the bills both as taxpayers and at the gas pump,” said Rep. Markey. “Moreover, the Republican Party wouldn’t even allow an up or down vote on improving the fuel economy of cars and light trucks – a measure all experts say will easily reduce the demand on foreign oil and a measure 86%
of Americans say they want taken to address our current energy crisis.”

The proposed amendment required an increase in fuel economy standards from today's average of 25 miles/gallon to 33 miles/gallon over 10 years (by 2016), consistent with the 2002 findings of the National Academy of Sciences, in order to save 10% of the gasoline the nation would otherwise consume by 2016.

“While the Republicans have bowed to the wishes of the automobile industry and refused to even allow debate and vote on this amendment, China, Japan, Australia and Canada have moved ahead with plans to significantly improve the fuel economy of cars and light trucks,” concluded Rep. Markey. “As much as the Republicans appear to want to stop the world from turning, the world turns. While we stand still, the rest of the world is moving to seize the opportunity to leave America in the dust.”

October 7, 2005

 CONTACT: Tara McGuinness
Michal Freedhoff