Washington-U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), the original authors of the Ten-in-Ten Fuel Economy Act enacted as part of the 2007 energy bill, say today’s agreement with 13 automakers and the United Auto Workers to raise fuel economy standards to 54.5 miles per gallon for cars and light trucks by Model Year 2025 is consistent with the intent of their legislation to set fuel economy standards for cars and trucks at the highest, or “maximum feasible,” level each year between 2011 and 2030.
Today’s announcement builds upon a previous agreement to raise fuel efficiency standards to 35.5 miles per gallon for Model Years 2012-2016 and is supported by 13 automakers representing over 90 percent of all vehicles sold in the United States. The rule is expected to save a total of 12 billion barrels of oil, and by 2025 reduce oil consumption by 2.2 million barrels per day – as much as half of the oil we currently import from OPEC daily.
“Today’s announcement is a transformative moment in a decades-long fight. I started pushing to increase fuel economy in the early 1990s when I joined forces with Republican Slade Gorton on a Sense of the Senate resolution to tackle fuel economy. Later, Senator Snowe and I worked to close a loophole that exempted SUVs from passenger vehicle fuel economy standards,” said Senator Feinstein.“Those efforts culminated in 2007 when Senator Snowe and I, with the help of Senators Inouye and Stevens, were able to pass the Ten-in-Ten Fuel Economy Act, which mandated that fuel efficiency increase at the ‘maximum feasible’ rate, and no less than 10 miles per gallon in 10 years. Most importantly, that law mandated that all fuel economy standards be based on science and increase as quickly as technically feasible. Our statutory mandate resulted in today’s announcement by the president, and it is one of my proudest accomplishments as a senator.”
“With gasoline prices up more than 20 percent this year, energy costs are an unacceptable burden on the American family and our country’s economy. While I look forward to the formal rulemaking, I am encouraged that the fuel economy standards proposal outlined today will maintain consumer choice for cars and trucks, improve American competitiveness, and reduce oil consumption and the price at the pump for families nationwide already struggling to weather the current economic storm,” said Senator Snowe.“The law that Senator Feinstein and I wrote was intended to cost-effectively move our country beyond our expensive oil consumption levels, and I am pleased that this step today is consistent with the intent of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.”
The Feinstein-Snowe law requires the U.S. 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.