WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following statement after President Obama directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop and issue the next phase of medium- and heavy-duty vehicle fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards by March 2016.
As Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, Sen. Carper has long advocated for comprehensive clean energy legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and foreign oil consumption, as well as to improve the economy. In 2007, Sen. Carper played an instrumental role in negotiating the first increase in Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards in 32 years, as part of the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act. This law included a requirement to issue CAFE standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks for the first time ever.
“President Obama’s directive to the EPA to issue the next set of fuel economy standards for American trucks is welcome news. I was proud to play a part in brokering the agreement that set us on a path toward greater fuel efficiency in 2007 and I want to thank the president for his leadership on this important issue. The first-ever standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles were set in 2011 and have saved owners and operators an estimated $50 billion in fuel costs and saved a projected 530 million barrels of oil. That’s a great start, but I know we can do more.
“American auto companies have reacted to fuel economy standards with incredible innovations in fuel efficiency that I witnessed firsthand at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last month. One such example is the new 2015 Ford F-150 that is set to get 30 miles per gallon due to shedding 700 pounds by going to an aluminum body. Providing a higher bar for auto manufacturers to reach in model years beyond 2018 will drive even greater advances in fuel economy.
“Heavy-duty trucks represent a major opportunity to cut oil consumption and carbon pollution. In 2010, heavy-duty vehicles represented just 4 percent of registered vehicles on the road in the United States, but they accounted for approximately 25 percent of on-road fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector.
“I strongly support the cooperative approach President Obama has taken in establishing new standards, and I urge the administration to continue its efforts to issue maximum feasible nationally coordinated fuel economy regulations, based on the successful methodology used to date. I am encouraged by President Obama’s willingness to bring climate change back to the forefront of our national debate, and I look forward to working in Congress to not only mitigate its dangerous effects but also address its root causes.”