Press Releases

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today praised the Administration’s proposed rule-making to increase interim fuel economy standards to 31.6 miles per gallon by 2015.

“As the author of the ‘Ten-in-Ten Fuel Economy’ bill, which is now law, I’d like to commend the Department of Transportation for taking this step. As I understand it, the Administration will raise fuel economy standards to 31.6 miles per gallon in 2015. This is an historic shift in policy – and the first substantial increase in fuel efficiency in more than a generation,” Senator Feinstein said.

“There is no question in my mind that we’re in for a substantial period of very high gasoline prices. Drivers today are paying upwards of $3.50 and in some places $4 per gallon at the pump. And experts expect prices to go even higher. This indicates that we have to move much more aggressively towards improving fuel efficiency – and help bring relief to American consumers. 

The fuel economy bill that Senator Snowe and I authored in the Senate, passed by the House and signed by the President in December 2007, requires that a standard must be met by 2020: a fleetwide average of at least 35 miles per gallon.

So, the 31.6 miles per gallon target that will be announced today gets us 66 percent of the way towards achieving that standard by 2015, or within the first 5 years.

It’s now time for Detroit and the other automakers to get to work on building a new fleet of cleaner cars. We know the technology is there – and now, we’re going to see these more fuel efficient cars on the road in just a few years.

Bottom line: this represents the first concrete action we are taking to combat global warming. And it’s really great news to celebrate on Earth Day.” 

The interim rule-making announced today is the first step towards full implementation of the new fuel economy law, which will increase fuel efficiency for sedans, light trucks and SUVs from the current fleetwide average of 25 miles per gallon to a fleetwide average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020. Senator Feinstein and Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) were the lead sponsors of the fuel economy legislation, which was enacted by Congress and signed into law by the President in December 2007.
The Ten-in-Ten Fuel Economy Law

Senators Feinstein and Snowe were the lead sponsors of the “Ten-in-Ten Fuel Economy” law, which was enacted by Congress in December 2007 as part of the comprehensive energy package.

By 2025, the fuel economy increases for cars and light-duty trucks would: 

  • Save 2.0 million barrels of oil per day, or nearly the amount of oil imported by the United States today from the Persian Gulf. (Union of Concerned Scientists)
  • Reduce emission from motor vehicles by 17 percent below projected levels, or the equivalent of taking 49 million of today’s vehicles off the road in one year. (Union of Concerned Scientists)
  • Save American families $700 - $1000 per year at the pump, depending on driving habits, (based on a $3.00 gas price). By 2025, the standards are estimated to save consumers $53 billion in net consumer savings in that year alone, a savings that will continue to increase in subsequent years.