Today’s ‘Fuel Choices’ Bill Could Curb U.S. Oil Habit, But Only With Full Funding, Implementation

Release Date: Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Washington, D.C., November 16, 2005 – The “Vehicle and Fuel Choices for American Security Act of 2005” could significantly reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil – but only if it were fully funded and implemented by Congress and the administration, the Alliance to Save Energy said today.

“The bill introduced today by Sens. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), Sam Brownback (R-Kans.), Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), and others could achieve a significant reduction in U.S. oil consumption – up to 25 percent – if enacted into law,” said Alliance President Kateri Callahan. “But without full funding by Congress and strict enforcement of the oil-saving provisions by the Bush Administration, it would be like getting a prescription but not taking the medication,” she added.

The bill calls for specific oil-saving targets to reduce U.S. oil dependence: 2.5 million barrels of oil per day within 10 years, increasing to 7.5 million barrels per day by 2026 to ramp up the savings from 10 percent to more than 25 percent of projected U.S. oil demand.

Other elements of the bill include financial assistance for auto manufacturers and suppliers that decide to retool factories to build more efficient vehicles; a program to move fuel-efficient tires into the marketplace; standards for heavy-truck efficiency; school bus idling reduction; and research into advanced vehicles technologies such as plug-in hybrids and light-weight materials.

The bill also includes policies encouraging use of alternative fuels instead of oil and a national energy security public education campaign to be run by the secretary of energy.