Give the Government a Gas Price Reality Check!

Last year we succeeded in passing a landmark bill that significantly strengthened fuel economy standards for vehicles. Improvements in fuel economy can help reduce pollution that causes global warming and lead to big savings for consumers—especially at today’s high fuel prices.

Now, the Transportation Department is responsible for implementing the new standard requiring automakers to boost the fuel economy of new cars and trucks to an average of at least 35 miles per gallon by 2020. Unfortunately, their draft proposal creates a huge loophole by projecting that we will be paying between $2.25 to $2.60 per gallon for gas through 2020. This gas price fantasy allows automakers to cut three to four miles per gallon off of their required fuel economy improvements.

Please write to Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters and urge her to close this loophole. Let her know what your gas prices really are and what you, and the nation, stand to lose if this gas price loophole is not closed.

The deadline for comments is June 30, so please send your letter to Secretary Peters today.


Scott Nathanson
National Field Organizer
Clean Vehicles Program

P.S. As you can see, there is space in the letter to customize it with information on the reality of gas prices that you are facing. Please be sure to fill in this information before submitting your letter.

Subject: I don’t pay $2.50 for gas!

Dear Secretary Peters,

I am writing in response to the National Highway Transit and Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) implementation of the new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards that were passed as part of the 2007 Energy Bill (Docket No. NHTSA-2008-0089).

As excited as I am to have more fuel efficient options, I am shocked that your agency’s plan projects that we will be paying between $2.25 to $2.60 per gallon for gas through 2020. My local [INSERT COMPANY NAME OF LOCAL GAS STATION] station is selling regular gas at [INSERT LOCAL GAS PRICE HERE]. The last fill-up on my [INSERT YOUR VEHICLE MODEL HERE] cost me [INSERT GAS BILL TOTAL HERE].

This gas price fantasy will allow automakers to shave three to four miles per gallon off of their CAFE requirements, costing the U.S. public billions of dollars at the pump and limiting the global warming pollution reductions that should be realized as part of this fuel economy improvement.

This miscalculation is unnecessary, as a fleet average of approximately 40 miles per gallon by 2020—even without hybrid vehicles—is both feasible and cost effective using technology already available.

Please help reduce global warming pollution from vehicles and save consumers money by correcting the wildly low projection that we will be paying between $2.25 to $2.60 per gallon for gas through 2020 in your proposed CAFE rule.


What’s At Stake:
Last year, Union of Concerned Scientists activists made phone calls, sent emails, and mailed more than a thousand gas receipts to their Members of Congress as part of our historic efforts to strengthen federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. But the Bush administration is trying to tinker with the rules in ways that will cost you thousands at the pump through reduced fuel efficiency.

Those new standards set the goal of a fuel economy average of 35 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2020, giving consumers progressively more fuel efficient vehicles in every class. With gas prices topping $4.00 a gallon and dangerous global warming an increasingly urgent issue, meeting these stronger standards is an essential step toward addressing our energy and environmental security.

These strong standards are now in the hands of the Bush administration’s National Highway Transit and Safety Administration (NHTSA), the agency responsible for implementing CAFE. Their proposal has a number of unfortunate holes, but among the most outrageous are their gas price projections—saying that we will be paying between $2.25 to $2.60 per gallon for gas through 2020. These projections underestimate the reality the U.S. public is seeing at the pump.

This gas price fantasy amounts to a loophole that will allow automakers to shave three to four miles per gallon off of their requirements, costing Americans billions of dollars at the pump. More…

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