Bipartisan Agreement on Fuel Economy Puts National Security First

Release Date: Friday, March 8, 2002

"This is where the rubber meets the road. We commend the bipartisan agreement by Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), John Kerry (D-MA), Fritz Hollings (D-SC), and others requiring passenger vehicle fleets to average 36 miles per gallon by 2015. Without such standards, the bill does little to lessen our country's growing oil dependence and protect national security.

"This bipartisan breakthrough is miles ahead of the Administration-supported H.R. 4. We have the technology to achieve better mileage for passenger vehicles without sacrificing safety or comfort. A fuel-efficient SUV can be just as comfortable and safe as a gas guzzler.

"The proposal contains additional worthy measures, but allowing auto makers to trade emissions in lieu of part of their fuel economy goal may substantially erode the gas mileage standard.

"We urge the Senate not to squander this once-in-a-decade opportunity to protect our country's future by ensuring meaningful fuel economy standards