Senator Boxer: Improving Fuel Economy to Reduce Greenhouse Gases   

Friday, February 16, 2007  

As Chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Environment and Public Works, I have made it my priority to stop global warming and improve our environment.  As part of that effort, I am pleased to let you that I am supporting a bill by Senator Dianne Feinstein to improve passenger automobile fuel economy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce dependence on foreign oil.  This legislation is known as the Ten-in-Ten Fuel Economy Act, S.357.

This bill would increase the fuel economy standards, known as CAFE standards, for SUVs and other light duty trucks and would increase the combined fleet average for all automobiles from 25 miles per gallon to 35 miles per gallon by model year 2019. 

When CAFE standards were first established in 1975, light trucks made up only a small percentage of total vehicles on the road and were mostly used by farmers and business.  The standard for them and for SUVs was set at a level that does not reflect the fact that today these make up more than half of the new car sales in America.  This bill would go a long way to correcting this discrepancy.

Our bill would also significantly reduce the amount of carbon dioxide – the largest single cause of global warming – from being released into the atmosphere.  If enacted, this legislation would result in a reduction of 350 million tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted by cars by 2025.  This would be roughly equivalent to removing 60 million cars from our roads in one year.

Finally, S.357 seeks to actually reduce our nation’s fuel consumption, making us less dependent on foreign oil and reducing the demand for new domestic sources.  In large measure, our legislation is a step forward in creating a sound energy policy for our nation that will also increase our national security.

I am pleased to join a bipartisan group of Senators supporting this important legislation and look forward to its passage.

Sincerely,

Barbara Boxer, US Senator, California
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer