Press Releases

Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) today welcomed news that the Obama Administration plans to extend existing fuel economy standards for vehicles in Model Year 2017 and beyond. The two Senators also applauded the Administration’s move to set mileage efficiency improvements for medium and heavy duty trucks.

Senator Feinstein and Snowe were the original authors of the Ten-in-Ten Fuel Economy Act, which was enacted as part of the 2007 energy bill. The Feinstein-Snowe law requires the Department of Transportation to set fuel economy standards for cars and trucks at the highest, or “maximum feasible,” level each year between 2011 and 2030.  It also requires the Department of Transportation, for the first time ever, to establish fuel economy standards for heavy duty trucks.  The legislation also clearly protected EPA’s ability to establish tailpipe emissions standards for vehicles. 

In compliance with the law, the Administration finalized its rule-making for passenger vehicles from Model Years 2012 to 2016 on April 1, and set a fleetwide average standard equivalent to 35.5 miles per gallon in 2016.

“Increasing the fuel efficiency of America’s fleet of vehicles is one of the most important ways we can fight global warming and improve our nation’s energy security. I commend President Obama and the Administration for taking the next step in this effort. Light and heavy duty vehicles generate about one-quarter of our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions, so this is a major piece of the problem,” Senator Feinstein said.

“As announced today, EPA and the Department of Transportation will work together to craft tough new mileage standards for model year 2017 vehicles and beyond – building on the Administration’s previous mandate of a fleetwide fuel economy standard equivalent to 35.5 miles per gallon in 2016.  The agencies will also initiate fuel economy improvements for heavy duty vehicles in 2014, three years ahead of schedule.
The Administration’s new rule-making will comply with the Ten in Ten Fuel Economy Act, which I authored with Senator Snowe. These proposed regulations, once fully implemented, could save consumers millions of dollars at the pump, reduce greenhouse gas emissions dramatically, and take concrete steps to reduce our dependence on oil. So, this is a very positive development,”
said Senator Feinstein.

Senator Snowe said, “As the co-author of the landmark fuel economy provisions in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, I am encouraged that the President has outlined his intention to use this authority to develop long-term standards to reduce the amount of oil we consume, the carbon emissions that are produced, and the money consumers spend on gasoline. The law that Senator Feinstein and I wrote provided the Administration the power to analyze the costs and benefits of fuel economy to move our country beyond our oil addiction, and I am pleased that this authority is being utilized consistent with the intent of Congress. I look forward to reviewing the final proposal and continuing to work to reduce our reliance on foreign energy sources.”