Washington, D.C.— Responding to comments in Congress that the administration is planning on finalizing fuel economy rules rising 0.5 percent per year rather than freezing the current standards through 2026, Admiral Dennis Blair (Ret.), the former Director of National Intelligence and Commander in Chief of U.S. Pacific Command and a member of Securing America’s Future Energy’s (SAFE’s) Energy Security Leadership Council made the following statement:
“Although this proposal is an improvement on the original plan to freeze the standards at current levels, it still does not meet the needs of our economic and national security. Fuel economy standards are a critical tool in battling an oil market that is manipulated by adversaries and managed by unstable countries so ensuring we squeeze as many miles as possible out of every barrel of oil we do consume is critical to enhance our economic and energy security. At a time of the greatest innovation in transportation technology with alternative fuels and safety and connected technology, the U.S. can do better.”
In his confirmation hearing, Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler also spoke of his desire to reach a “50-state solution” and ensure the federal government reaches a deal with California officials on the efficiency standards.
“We still believe there is room to optimize our nation’s fuel economy standards, principally by incorporating commercially-available crash avoidance and driver-assist technologies. Critically, restoring a single national program will also bring significant benefits, and we believe it is in the federal government’s best interests to avoid a lengthy court battle with the State of California by reaching a deal on fuel economy. Such a deal is achievable, and the auto industry is strongly in favor of such an outcome instead of years of uncertainty. We look forward to sharing solutions and continuing a dialogue with all parties as this process moves forward,” Admiral Blair added.
About Securing America’s Future Energy
Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is an action-oriented, nonpartisan organization that aims to reduce America’s dependence on oil. Near-total dependence on petroleum in the transportation sector undermines the nation’s economic and national security, and constrains U.S. foreign policy. To combat these threats, SAFE advocates for expanded domestic production of U.S. oil and gas resources, continued improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency, and transportation sector innovations including electric vehicles, natural gas trucks, and autonomous vehicles. In 2006, SAFE joined with General P.X. Kelley (Ret.), 28th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO of FedEx Corporation, to form the Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a group of business and former military leaders committed to reducing the United States’ dependence on oil. Today, the ESLC is co-chaired by Frederick W. Smith and General James T. Conway (Ret), 34th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.
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