The boost of fuel economy standards to 35 miles per gallon by 2020 got another endorsement today, this time from the popular mayor of New York City, Democrat-turned-Republican Michael Bloomberg. The New York Times reports on the speech he gave in Seattle today, where he also endorsed a carbon tax.
The transcript includes these two important paragraphs:
Third, we have to get serious about energy efficiency — and the best place to start is with our cars and trucks. In 1975, Congress passed a law requiring fuel efficiency standards to double over 10 years, from 12 miles a gallon to 24, with incremental targets that auto manufacturers were required to meet. But since 1985, Washington has been paralyzed by special interests. If the same incremental gains had been adopted for the last two decades, think of where we would be now! We’d all be saving money at the pump, we’d be producing less air pollution and greenhouse gas, Detroit would be in a stronger competitive position and the “Big Three” may not have lost so many more jobs. (Just yesterday, Chrysler announced another 12,000 job cuts.)
Those job losses hurt hard-working Americans, and we have to ask ourselves: Do we want even more middle-class factory workers to be handed pink slips and left to look for service jobs at half the wages? Because that’s the direction we’re heading in if we continue to fall further and further behind other countries in producing fuel-efficient vehicles. The current Senate energy bill would raise Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards from 27.5 to 35 miles per hour by 2020. That’s nowhere near the leap we made from 1975 to 1985, and many foreign cars are already getting 35 miles to the gallon. Even so, U.S. automakers are trying to water down the Senate bill — and if Congress caves, you can bet the loudest cheers will be heard in Japan. Raising fuel efficiency standards is the best thing we could do for U.S. automakers — and it would’ve been done years ago, but for the politics. [emphasis mine]
Well said, Mr. Mayor, and thank you for adding your voice to the chorus belting out the same tune:
The Senate struck a good deal, and Congress should follow suit by sticking with 35 mpg by 2020!