Markey: Auto Standards Signal Full Speed Ahead to Energy
Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today hailed President Barack Obama's announcement that he will raise fuel economy standards to 35.5 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2016 with the support of automakers as a historic moment. Rep. Markey is co-author of the original 35 mpg standard adopted by Congress in 2007, a measure that required the maximum feasible fuel economy standards be set each year.
Rep. Markey has long been an outspoken advocate of increasing fuel economy standards and has long believed that the use of realistic future gas prices and technology cost assumptions would support a cost-effective standard of more than 35 miles per gallon by 2016. Markey has worked with then-Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) and Rep. Todd Platts (R-Pa.) to urge that the 2007 energy law be faithfully implemented by the Department of Transportation (see links below). Rep. Markey also co-authored legislation in the 110th Congress requiring that realistic future gasoline prices be used when setting fuel economy standards.
"With this historic announcement, President Obama is firing on all cylinders by getting the automakers to simultaneously agree to higher fuel economy standards and drop their litigation against California," said Rep. Markey. "As someone who has pushed for stronger fuel economy standards for decades, the difference between then and now is like being stuck in stop-and-go traffic and hitting every green light on your way home."
"Combining today's announcement with a comprehensive clean energy plan being considered by Congress this week will deliver a one-two punch against America's dangerous dependence on foreign oil."
The original Waxman-Markey energy bill, which is expected to pass out of committee this week, contained language that would have created a federal fuel economy program by harmonizing federal standards with California's stronger rules. The language was removed when Chairmen Waxman and Markey learned of President Obama's expected announcement.
"Instead of fighting an uphill battle to increase fuel economy, as Congress did under the Bush administration, we are now working hand-in-driving-glove with the Obama team," said Rep. Markey. "For years, the auto industry claimed it would be impossible for them to implement the fuel efficiency standards that they have just agreed to. Their change of heart reflects not only how much has changed in the auto industry, but how much has changed in Washington."