Phyllis Cuttino, director of the Pew Campaign for Fuel Efficiency issued the following statement welcoming today’s federal ruling rejecting auto industry’s attempt to block California and 14 other states from setting meaningful new fuel economy standards.
“Today’s ruling shows that the only ones who don’t believe in the U.S. auto industry are the U.S. auto industry.
“Today’s ruling by the U.S. District Court is more proof that auto industry arguments opposing meaningful fuel efficiency increases are no longer credible. U.S. District Judge William K. Sessions’ ruling bluntly articulates what Americans overwhelmingly believe, what the National Academy of Sciences has found and what foreign automobile manufacturers have demonstrated: greater fuel efficiency is achievable without sacrificing vehicle size or power.
“Auto industry lawyers are trying to convince judges that fuel efficiency is unattainable and auto industry lobbyists are waging a campaign in Washington, DC to weaken and delay or defeat a U.S. Senate bipartisan compromise to require automakers to achieve an average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020. This measure would not only make America more secure by saving 1.2 million barrels of oil a day, but also save American families $25 billion per year at the gas pump. It would also help Detroit to better compete with foreign automakers.
In June, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly supported a bipartisan compromise to increase fuel efficiency standards in cars and SUVs to 35 miles per gallon by 2020. This represents the first real move to increase fuel efficiency standards since 1975.
Over the last two decades, U.S. dependence on foreign oil has nearly doubled, gas prices have climbed more than 55 percent, and America’s contribution to global warming has increased at an alarming rate. Meanwhile, average gas mileage for new vehicles has actually fallen below levels found acceptable in the 1980s.