Democratic Leaders Urge the President to Establish MY2017-2025 Carbon Pollution and Fuel Efficiency Standards

Jul 27, 2011

Today Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman, and Ranking Member Edward Markey sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to establish carbon pollution and fuel efficiency standards for vehicles sold in model years 2017-2025 that maximize consumer savings, reductions in carbon pollution, and energy independence.  

The full text of the letter is below and also available online here.

July 27, 2011

The President
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

            We are writing to urge you to establish carbon pollution and fuel efficiency standards for vehicles sold in model years 2017-2025 that recognize our technological capability, our need for energy independence, the large potential cost savings for consumers, and the importance of strong standards for preventing climate change and enhancing our national security.

            The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) are currently developing proposed carbon pollution and fuel efficiency standards under the national program for new vehicles sold in model years 2017-2025.  We believe these should be the strongest possible standards. 

            The existing standards for model years 2012 to 2016 demonstrate the remarkable benefits possible from cutting carbon pollution from motor vehicles.  When the auto fleet turns over and all vehicles are meeting these standards, the nationwide savings will be 2 million barrels of oil per day.  For the individual consumer, the standards are expected to yield net savings of $3,000 over the life of a vehicle.  In a fundamental and historic shift, the new standards are predicted to stop the growth in U.S. consumption of oil. 

            We now have the opportunity to build on this progress to further reduce our costly and dangerous oil dependence and protect our health and environment.

            Technology is available to significantly cut pollution from automobiles and light trucks by 2025.  Preliminary estimates by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration indicate that these standards could save consumers as much as $7,400 over the lifetime of a model year 2025 vehicle, while saving up to 1.3 billion barrels of oil and cutting our carbon pollution by 590 million metric tons over the lifetime of model year 2025 vehicles.  A high standard will also benefit our domestic auto industry.  It will spur innovation and ensure that U.S. companies stay at the forefront of automotive technology. 

            The estimate of the potential consumer benefits by the Administration relies on the assumption that the costs of gasoline will range from $3.49 per gallon in 2025 to $4.34 per gallon in 2050.  We believe these are unrealistically low gasoline prices.  If gasoline prices are higher, as many informed observers expect, the benefits to consumers are likely to greatly exceed the $7,400 estimated cost-savings.

            We urge you to seize this opportunity and set vehicle standards that maximize consumer savings, reductions in carbon pollution, and our energy independence.

Sincerely,

Nancy Pelosi
Democratic Leader
Henry A. Waxman
Ranking Member Committee on Energy and Commerce
Edward Markey
Ranking Member
Committee on Natural Resources