Markey Hails 54.5 MPG Fuel Economy Standard For America’s Energy Independence

Lawmaker is co-author of 2007 mileage standards, led 111 Democrats in letter of support for new proposal

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), the House co-author of the legislative standards that led to today’s fuel economy announcement from the White House, released the following statement after the Obama administration announced the regulatory proposal that will result in a fuel economy average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

Yesterday, Reps. Markey, Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) and John Dingell (D-Mich.) and 108 of their Democratic colleagues in the House sent a letter to President Obama commending him for his leadership in announcing the standards, which will increase national security by reducing the need for a total of as much as 3.8 million barrels of oil per day by 2030.

“These historic fuel efficiency standards are a knockout punch against America’s dangerous dependence on foreign oil,” said Rep. Markey, the Ranking Member of the Natural Resources Committee and a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

“For too long we have been shackled by our dependence on Middle East oil and today’s announcement sends a clear message to the Saudi and other potentates that we have embarked on a course that will allow us to one day be able to say that we need their Middle Eastern oil as much as we need their sand. As someone who has pushed for stronger fuel economy standards for decades, I welcome the efforts of the White House, the automakers, auto workers, environmental groups and my colleagues in Congress to support and finalize these historic standards.”

The 54.5 mpg standard was enabled by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which included fuel economy standards co-authored by Rep. Markey and championed by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). That law included Markey language that said the standard must be at least 35 mpg by 2020, and that the “maximum feasible standard” must be set every year. The bill was signed by President George W. Bush in December, 2007.

The fuel economy legislation, combined with the 2007 Supreme Court decision of Massachusetts v. the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which affirmed the agency’s authority to reduce greenhouse gas pollution from automobiles, paved the way for this announcement.

That bill also included provisions to require the deployment of advanced biofuels. Combined, the fuel efficiency and biofuels provisions will save 5.1 million barrels of oil per day by 2030. The United States currently imports 4.6 million barrels of oil per day from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Rep. Markey first offered his fuel economy amendment in 2001, following years of Republican legislative riders that prevented fuel economy increases from being adopted. He brought his legislation up for a vote in successive sessions of Congress, until the provisions were finally included in the 2007 energy bill.

Source: Office of Congressman Markey