Kerry Says New Fuel Efficiency Standards Are "A Step Forward" But Fall Short
Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) made the following statement on the Commerce Committee markup of the Ten-in-Ten Fuel Economy Act. Kerry voted for the improved standards, which will save gas and improve the climate.
"These new standards are a good first step forward, and we've come a long way on increasing CAFE standards since Senator McCain and I introduced legislation five years ago," Kerry said. "But this bill should be stronger. We must do more to make CAFE standards more stringent if we are serious about addressing global climate change, creating jobs, and lessening our dependence on oil.
"Now that this proposal to increase CAFE standards will go to the floor, it will be an essential part of the energy debate. I will fight to improve the bill on the floor and to guarantee improvements of at least 31 mpg by 2015 and 35mpg by 2020. While fuel efficiency technologies have greatly improved over the years, the fuel economy of the nation's passenger fleet has not. Since America's second oil crisis in 1980, our oil imports have increased from 37 to 56 percent, but our passenger fleet averages 25 mpg, the same average in 1981.
"I am proud that Massachusetts has been a leader in cutting emissions in cars and fighting for more fuel efficiency. If the entire country did what Massachusetts is already doing, we could raise fuel efficiency by 40 percent. We must take Massachusetts as a model and work here in Washington to make fuel efficient cars the standard. By implementing tax credits and incentives and passing aggressive CAFE legislation, we can create the cars of the future here in America, and at the same time create jobs and fight climate change."