A law authored by former U.S. Rep. Baron Hill of Indiana and U.S. Rep. Lee Terry in 2007 to increase the fuel efficiency of cars, small trucks and SUVs will ultimately save the nation from importing 1.1 million barrels of oil per day while also decreasing the carbon footprint from vehicle emissions by hundreds of metric tons a year.
Even though he was in the minority at the time as a Republican member of the House, Terry's work shows his ability to work across party lines and get things done. The Hill-Terry law is also projected to create 170,000 private sector jobs in coming years.
When fully implemented in 2020, the Hill-Terry provisions will translate into a reduction of oil imports equal to an astounding 401.5 million barrels a year as well as an annual reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 206 metric tons.
"I was pleased to work on a bi-partisan basis to raise fuel efficiency standards by 40 percent," Terry said. The 2007 Hill-Terry law has been called "historic' by the Union of Concerned Scientists and constitutes the first time the standards had been raised in 20 years.
Hill-Terry gradually increases the fuel efficiency of most vehicles from 25 miles per gallon to 35 miles per gallon through 2020.
"I will continue to advocate for measures that reduce our nation's dependency on foreign oil," Terry said. "Hill-Terry is a very good start but we must do much, much more."
The Union of Concerned Scientists has stated that the law could reduce by over half the oil the U.S. currently imports from the Persian Gulf. They also have calculated that Hill-Terry
could reduce "annual greenhouse gas emissions by 206 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent" when fully implemented. Finally, the respected group has stated that Hill-Terry could create 170,800 new jobs due to "consumer fuel savings along with automaker investment."