Despite a new report that found fuel efficiency is a major factor behind the increase of 236,000 jobs in the U.S. auto industry since summer of 2009, Republicans have launched a new baseless political attack on the fuel economy improvements that are driving the American auto industry's recovery and saving American families money at the pump. Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), co-author of the 2007 legislative standards that led to the new 54.5 mpg standard supported by automakers, labor unions, environmentalists and the Obama administration, today said Republicans and their presidential candidate Mitt Romney should stop their efforts to attack one of the bright spots of America's economy and support the will of the American people who already are benefiting from job creation and more efficient vehicles.
"The automotive industry is one of the greatest economic comebacks of all time, but Republicans wan to run it off the road. Advanced technology vehicles have rejuvenated what was a failing auto industry, and the historic fuel economy standards will save American households billions at the pump and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Governor Romney and Congressional Republicans seem committed to taking the American consumer out of the driver's seat and putting Big Oil behind the wheel of America's energy agenda. Instead of a checkered flag for America's clean energy future, Republicans are waving the white flag on oil imports from OPEC and alternatives to oil. Stopping oil imports from the Middle East means we stop exporting our young men and women in uniform to defend oil interests in conflict zones."
Combined with provisions to require the deployment of advanced biofuels, the new fuel economy standards will save 2.2 million barrels of oil per day by 2025. The U.S. currently imports 4.6 million barrels of oil per day from OPEC.
Just today, the Department of Energy announced new projects to accelerate deployment of next-generation American-made automobiles, including advances for energy-efficient vehicle and truck engines.
Compared to June 2011, there was a 164 percent increase in the sale of electric and hybrid cars in June 2012.