As gas prices continue to skyrocket, Administration should stop dragging its feet on fuel economy standards

Cumulative 2020 Savings from 2015 35 mpg

As millions of Americans prepare to travel for the 4th of July holiday and as millions more stay home because they can’t afford skyrocketing gas prices, the Bush Administration is dragging its feet on increasing fuel economy standards while consumers pay the price.

Today is the deadline for public comments on the government’s proposed new rules to increase fuel economy standards. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is required to implement the fuel economy standards that Congress passed last year at the maximum feasible levels. Yet instead, they are undervaluing the price of oil and lowballing the American people. 

The agency is forecasting that fuel will cost $2.42 a gallon by 2016, which most consumers would find laughable when considering the average of $4.09 a gallon they pay today.  The agency is trying to justify weaker fuel economy standards, by severely underestimating the price of fuel.

Strong fuel economy standards are critical to helping consumers lower fuel costs, reducing our dependence on oil and curbing global warming pollution. Not only is it possible, but necessary to raise fuel economy standards to 35 miles per gallon by 2015. Automakers have the technology, they just need to put it to use. By reaching the minimum standard of 35 miles per gallon fleetwide by 2015, NRDC estimates that the U.S. would conserve 3 billion barrels of oil.

Cumulative Oil Savings in 2020

This 4th of July, the President should help make America more energy independent and save consumers money by taking high gas prices into account and raising fuel economy standards even higher.