Issue Position: Energy - CAFE Standards
I am concerned about our nation's dependence on foreign sources of oil and the energy sources we utilize. The decisions we make on energy today will certainly affect our environment, health, and economy in the future. I strongly support improving energy efficiency standards to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
Corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards have been effective in improving the average fuel economy of automobiles since their enactment in 1975. Unfortunately, efficiency improvements have stalled in recent years due to the increased market influx of light trucks and sport utility vehicles, as well as the failure to raise the passenger car CAFE standard since the 1986 model year.
Currently, America's cars and light trucks consume over 8 million barrels of oil per day - 40% of U.S. oil consumption. Since each gallon of gasoline burned releases 25 pounds of carbon dioxide, the benefits of this bill include reducing harmful greenhouse gases, freeing the US of dependence on foreign oil, and saving consumers money at the pump.
I am a cosponsor of the Fuel Economy Reform Act, which would require cars and light trucks to achieve an average fuel economy of 27.5 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2012 and 35 mpg by 2018. These levels are consistent with both the President's call for a 4% per year increase in fuel economy standards and with the findings of a 2002 National Academy of Sciences report that concluded that it is possible to achieve these standards through commercially available technology.
Additionally, the Energy Bill, signed into law by the President in December 2007, included the first increase in CAFE standards in more than 30 years. Cars and light trucks will be required to raise fleet-wide average fuel economy to 35 miles per gallon by 2020, a 40% increase over the current standard. This mandatory increase in CAFE is supported by the automotive industry.