Save Money on Gas, Support Better Fuel Economy

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If you’re sick of frequent trips to the gas station to face
ever-increasing prices, you may want to speak up for real
improvements to federal fuel economy standards by contacting your

Next week, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on
fuel economy ? including an amendment from Representatives Sherwood
Boehlert (R-N.Y.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.). If added to
legislation under consideration, the amendment would require an
increase in mileage standards for cars and light trucks to 33 mpg
by 2016 (from the current 24.6 mpg average). Driving vehicles held
to stronger fuel economy standards would save an average family
$500 per year; nationwide, we would save an estimated $19 billion
in fuel costs.

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), several
technologies exist that could boost vehicles’ fuel economy without
diminishing performance or safety. Improved fuel economy standards
are also a proven way to lessen our dependency on foreign oil. The
reduced oil demand in 2025 ? more than 2 million barrels a day ?
would equal the amount we currently import from the Persian Gulf,
per a study by UCS. And burning less gas would mean a significant
reduction in America’s contribution to global warming

In response to the public’s rising concern over skyrocketing gas
prices, the Bush administration recently asked Congress for the
authority to revise Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE)
standards. The administration later clarified that it wants to
replace the existing fleet-wide standards with specific standards
for each class of vehicle. But unless size-based classifications
are accompanied by increased standards, actual vehicle fuel economy
is unlikely to improve, according to UCS. Thus, the Boehlert-Markey
amendment was created to tie real improvements to vehicles’ fuel
economy to any revisions of the structure of CAFE standards.

For more information, visit the

UCS Web site
. Or view the Sierra Club’s
MPG calculator that
shows what you would save if CAFE standards were modernized.