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Gas Reaches $3 a Gallon – Oregonians Call on Congress for Relief

November 2, 2007

Portland, OR – The price of a tank of gas continues to go up, with oil prices jumping more than one-third since August, and prices at the pump topping $3 per gallon in many parts of the state. That has some Oregon consumers and conservationists calling on Congress for help, asking federal lawmakers to pass a bill that would increase fuel efficiency standards and save consumers money.

The legislation would raise fuel efficiency standards for the first time in 30 years, to 35 miles per gallon by 2020. Emily Southard, of the National Environmental Trust, says that would mean big savings:

"Especially in consumers' wallets. The typical two-car family would save almost $700 a year at the pump."

Southard adds there are other compelling reasons to increase the fuel efficiency standards, even beyond reducing our dependence on oil and paying less for gasoline, including reviving the stagnant U.S. automotive industry.

"American automakers could make $12 billion in profits, and save more than 22,000 auto industry jobs, so it's really in the best interest of Americans."

The National Academy of Sciences says the technology already exists to increase fuel efficiency with no changes in the size, weight or power of vehicles on the road today. A jump-start from Congress could make the difference.

Dondrea Warner/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR