Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC - Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) filed an amendment to the Senate energy bill that could reduce the nation's oil consumption for automobiles by one million barrels a day - roughly what the nation imports from Iraq and more than could have been produced by drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. "America's national security is jeopardized by our growing dependence on foreign oil. The Senate voted against drilling in ANWR and voted to end importing oil from Iraq. This reduced the oil supply, but did not set a standard to reduce oil consumption," Carper said. "The nation needs a clear, measurable objective for oil savings. The increased threat of global warming and continued instability in the Middle East makes now the right time to implement one." The amendment will establish a requirement that the Secretary of Transportation issue regulations to reduce the amount of oil consumed in passenger cars and light trucks in 2015 by 1,000,000 barrels per day compared to consumption without such regulations in place. Today, America will use 7.8 million barrels of oil to power the vehicles that it drives. The Department of Energy forecasts that this amount will climb to 10.6 million barrels per day by 2015, an increase of over 35 percent. Carper-Specter would limit that growth to 23 percent, or 9.6 million barrels. "Unless curbed, our nation's increased demand for oil could force us to drill more at home or import more from countries who wish us harm," Carper said. "Our nation's energy security and environmental quality are at risk if we cut our supply without reducing our demand. Our amendment is not a dramatic step but it is an important one." Both Carper and Specter voted earlier for the Levin-Bond amendment, supporting its emphasis on alternative energies, its increased production of fuel-efficient vehicles and its tax incentives. The Carper-Specter amendment tasks the Department of Energy to work with the Department of Transportation to develop and encourage such technologies and does not demand increases in CAFE standards.