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Senators Urged to Get Automakers Off Their "Tailpipes"

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007   


New York, NY - With the price of gas averaging $3.20 a gallon in New York, the U.S Senate begins debate this week on package of energy bills that could give consumers a break. At the Sierra Club's New York field office, Bob Muldoon feels the Senate could also take a major step toward energy independence by boosting vehicles' fuel efficiency standards -- something that hasn't been done since the 1970s.

"The Senate needs to stand up to the auto industry and tell them to get off their tailpipes and kick it into gear. We need all cars and SUVs to get at least 35 miles per gallon within ten years."

Automakers argue those new efficiency standards could be difficult and expensive to meet, but Muldoon says carmakers said the same thing about mandatory seatbelts, and the industry adapted -- and survived. Today, the average family is spending about $3,200 a year for gas. Jan Pendlebury of the National Environmental Trust also believes boosting fuel efficiency will save big bucks.

"Requiring higher fuel economy standards for new cars, SUVs and other light trucks, to an average of 35 miles per gallon over the next ten years, will save a typical family more than $500 annually."

Muldoon adds the Senate should authorize investments in renewable energy sources and avoid pouring money into high-carbon technologies that contribute to the problem of global warming.

"We don't need billions thrown away on pie-in-the-sky technologies like liquid coal, when we have tried-and-true energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies that can be put in place today."



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