WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, released the following statement, hailing President Obama's memorandum that directs agencies to implement government-wide fleet management practices that will ensure federal cars and trucks are saving taxpayer dollars and leading by example in employing energy efficiency and innovative technology:
"The price at the gas pump is putting a big dent in the pocketbooks of millions of families and businesses across our nation. The impact of high gas prices on the federal government's fuel bill is no different. The hundreds of thousands of vehicles in the federal government's fleet cost taxpayers millions in fuel costs every year, at a time when the federal government is trying to get the most out of every dollar we spend. High fuel costs present yet another significant challenge for the federal government as we work to curb federal spending, but as Albert Einstein once said 'in adversity lies opportunity,' and this challenge certainly provides an opportunity for the federal government to rethink how we fuel our vehicle fleet.
"President Obama's memorandum and the General Services Administration's announcement on new government-wide fleet management practices is a welcome step in the right direction to cut those significant vehicle fuel costs and help strengthen the American economy. It also comes on the heels of the release of a recent Government Accountability Office report that detailed how federal agencies are struggling with some of the vehicle mandates that have been placed on them. Moving to alternative fuel vehicles will help us reach the President's goal of a 30 percent reduction in petroleum use by 2015. This action underscores the Obama Administration's willingness to lead the way in increasing energy efficiency, and it will also allow us to leverage the enormous buying power of the federal government to make these vehicles more affordable for every American family and business. I am also encouraged that as part of this effort, the President is asking agencies to figure out their optimal fleet size and composition. Given the enormous budget deficits we face, we need to take a harder look at every dollar we spend to determine that it is both essential and as cost-effective an expenditure as possible. My subcommittee plans on following up with agencies about their work to determine their fleet's size and cost in the coming months."