Statement By Jennifer Morgan Director, Climate Change Campaign World Wildlife Fund
“Today’s Transportation funding bill includes a rider that would continue to tie the hands of the Administration and hold back technology that would make cars and trucks cleaner and more efficient. WWF calls on Congress to vote for the Olver-George Miller ‘Motion to Strike’ to clean up the bill and America’s cars.
“For five years Congress has stalled American technology with the CAFE rider-but they can’t stop the world. Many countries are moving forward in producing highly fuel-efficient automobiles as part of national plans to combat global warming. The U.S. has always been on the cutting edge of technology, but this rider will keep us from joining the world to meet higher standards.
“World Wildlife Fund sees a vote for this anti-CAFE rider as a vote against the environment and a vote against technological progress. We urge members of the House to stand up for the environment and strike down the CAFE rider.
“Americans have shown time and again that they care about the future of the world’s wildlife and wild spaces. Global warming threatens habitats around the world, and this rider would prevent the U.S. from technological progress and protecting the environment that Americans care about.”
CAFE, or Corporate Average Fuel Economy, standards are the minimum efficiency requirement for cars and light trucks. The CAFE standards are among our nation’s most successful environmental laws-doubling the efficiency of cars since enacted in 1975.
Raising the miles-per-gallon standard for light trucks alone would slash oil consumption by 1 million barrels per day and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 240 million tons per year. While the current standards for autos have stagnated for nearly a decade at 27.5 miles per gallon, the standards for heavily polluting sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and other light trucks lag behind at 20.7 miles per gallon-a large loophole in the CAFE law.
Increasing CAFE standards will mean savings for U.S. citizens at the gas pumps and reduction of U.S. dependence on foreign oil. However, today’s rider bars the Administration from even studying this problem. Stripping the rider is the first step in creating the more efficient cars of the future.
World Wildlife Fund leads international efforts to protect the diversity of life on Earth.