Unified Action – May 2006 – Increase Fuel Efficiency Standards

Increase Fuel Efficiency Standards

Sponsor: Tom Schuster, Email: nacirema2@yahoo.com,  Phone: 642-7156

The Issue

America clearly has an oil addiction.  The U.S. holds just 3% of world oil reserves but consumes 25 % of the world’s oil.  Fifty-five percent of petroleum consumed in the U.S. is currently imported, and by 2025 this could increase to 70%.  We import 2.5 million barrels of oil each day from the Persian Gulf alone.  This dependence on oil from volatile countries unduly influences our foreign policy and leaves our economy extremely vulnerable.  It also has enormous negative environmental consequences, ranging from air and water pollution to the coming climate change crisis.  Transportation is at the root of this problem, with cars and light trucks currently accounting for about 40% of U.S. oil consumption.

However, the House of Representatives has a chance to take the first step toward correcting this problem.  An amendment has been offered to increase the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard for cars and light trucks to 33 mpg by 2015 (currently 27.5 mpg for cars and 22.2 mpg for light trucks).  More efficient vehicles have lower emissions and would lessen the effect of gasoline price shocks in the future.

What we are asking

When HR 5359 comes for a vote on the house floor, we want Rep. Steve Pearce to support the Boehlert-Markey amendment that would increase CAFE standards to 33 mpg.

Call Representative Pearce at: (202) 225-2365

Sample Message:
“Hello, my name is __________. I live in Las Cruces, and I am calling to ask Rep. Pearce to support an amendment to HR5359, which will increase gas mileage standards.  Please tell him to support the amendment proposed by Reps. Boehlert and Markey to increase gas mileage to 33 miles per gallon.  Thank you.  (Feel free to personalize the above message.)

Upon completion send an “I did it” to unifiedaction@pva-nm.org

Additional facts about the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards

  • The average fuel efficiency of our vehicle fleet is at it’s lowest point in the last 20 years.
  • The National Academy of Scientists announced in 2001 that the technology exists to achieve a 40 mpg standard in the U.S., so 33 mpg should be easy.
  • By 2025, the plan would save 2.6 million barrels of oil each day – more than we currently import from the Persian Gulf region.
  • This measure would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.1 million tons per year.
  • Using a very conservative gasoline price of $2.50/gallon, the measure would save consumers $33 billion in 2015, the year of full implementation.
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