Washington, D.C.—In connection with today’s U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee joint Consumer Protection and Commerce and Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee hearing on the Trump administration’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to revise the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, Robbie Diamond, President and CEO of Securing America’s Future Energy, submitted a letter for the hearing record stating in particular:
“An urgent need exists for policies to insulate the nation from our exposure to the opaque and unfree oil market, and to reduce the dependence on oil that has undermined the nation’s economic sovereignty, constrained our foreign policy, and burdened our military forces. Until the U.S. transportation sector is no longer beholden to oil, the country will be vulnerable to oil price volatility. Improving the fuel efficiency of the U.S. vehicle fleet is a valuable insurance policy against this volatility.
”We believe that for the sake of national security, the U.S. auto industry, auto workers, and ultimately American consumers and businesses, the country is better served by the Trump administration and the State of California finding a solution to the current impasse on revised fuel economy regulations. This is a preferable option to these vital standards becoming mired in protracted and uncertain litigation. Such an outcome serves the interest of neither party, nor is it in the best interests of the country.”
The transportation sector accounts for more than 70 percent of the approximately 20 million barrels of oil the United States consumes per day. In 2018, the U.S. transport system relied on oil for 92 percent of its total energy consumption, a share essentially unchanged since the early 20th century. Vehicle fuel economy vastly improved with the introduction of increasingly stringent fuel efficiency standards for both passenger vehicles and heavy-duty trucks, implemented in the wake of the 1973 Oil Crisis. Although oil dependence has caused serious challenges for the United States over the past several decades, these challenges would have been more severe without improvements to vehicle fuel efficiency.
As the United States reportedly sends more troops to the Middle East and talks of military escorts for tankers through the Strait of Hormuz, Diamond urged the Committee to take into account the ”approximately $81 billion per year in costs incurred by the U.S. military for protecting global oil supplies” and leverage technology to improve fuel economy and highway safety.
For Diamond’s full letter, please click here.
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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