Alliance to Save Energy Decries Senate Votes on Fuel Economy

Release Date: Tuesday, July 29, 2003

With transportation gobbling over 60 percent of America’s oil consumption, it defies reason for the Senate to reject higher fuel economy standards for light trucks less than two months after voting overwhelmingly to save a million barrels of oil a day by 2013, the Alliance to Save Energy observed today.

In mid-June, the Senate adopted the oil-saving amendment to its energy bill by a landmark vote of 99-1. The measure directs the President to save at least one million barrels of oil a day by 2013. Yet today, the Senate voted 32–65 against an amendment by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) to increase fuel economy standards to 40 miles per gallon by 2015.

“The Senate has taken an unfortunate wrong turn on the road to a balanced and sensible national energy policy, which should be built on a foundation of energy efficiency,” Alliance to Save Energy Acting Co-President Mark Hopkins said.

“This amendment would have compelled automakers to take the available technologies off the shelf and put them into our cars and light trucks,” Hopkins said. “In a turn for the worse, senators then supported, 66-30, an amendment by Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Christopher Bond (R- Mo.) which fails to require any update in the antiquated fuel economy standards, now at a 23-year low.

“When will Detroit give ‘soccer moms’ a fuel-efficient SUV?” Hopkins asked