WASHINGTON, Jan. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following is a statement
from David Friedman, the research director of the Union of Concerned
Scientists, regarding a possible fuel economy requirement:
"This could be the breakthrough we have been waiting for on fuel
economy. The president joins leaders in Congress calling for increasing the
gas mileage of cars, SUVs, minivans and pickup trucks to 34 mpg by 2017.
This is the equivalent of a four percent improvement per year. However,
this will only be a breakthrough if the president and Congress work
together to pass a law guaranteeing that this goal becomes reality, while
avoiding loopholes and escape clauses. They must also work together to
continue these improvements beyond 2017. Only then will we be able to
reduce our oil dependence, save money at the pump and put the auto industry
on the road to recovery.
"According to UCS research, if this fuel economy goal is required by
law, it would save 550,000 barrels of oil per day in 2017, more than we
currently import from Iraq. The increase would also cut global warming
pollution by 95 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in that same year.
This is equivalent to taking 14 million of today's cars and trucks off the
"UCS analysis also shows that producing 35 billion gallons of renewable
fuels by 2017 would cut our projected oil demand by 1.5 million barrels per
day in 2017, reducing our oil dependence by 6.4 percent. If 18 billion
gallons came from corn ethanol, then the remaining 17 billion gallons must
come from cellulosic ethanol or other renewable fuels by 2017. These fuels
must be produced without polluting the air, water and soil. If the
president's renewable and alternative fuel goal is met primarily with
ethanol, it would reduce global warming pollution by 160 million metric
tons in 2017, the equivalent of taking nearly 24 million of today's cars
and trucks off the road.
"If alternative fuels are made from coal instead of renewable
resources, the president will not meet his stated goal of stopping the
projected growth in carbon dioxide emissions from cars, light trucks and
SUVs. Instead of cutting global warming pollution, making gasoline or
diesel from coal would double the amount of global warming pollution
produced from gasoline today.
"To address global warming, the president needed to go much further. We
must set an overall cap on global warming pollution for the entire economy.
This step will complement policies that directly address transportation,
electricity and other sources of pollution. For example, we need
legislation that would require utilities to produce 20 percent of the
nation's electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar power by
2020. The renewable electricity standard is the best way to cut power plant
emissions, reducing emissions by 434 million metric tons, the equivalent of
taking nearly 63 million of today's cars and trucks off the road."
Formed in 1969, the Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading
science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer
Contact: Emily Robinson, +1-202-331-5427, or Aaron Huertas,
+1-202-331-5420, both for the Union of Concerned Scientists
SOURCE Union of Concerned Scientists