U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander today said that “the best antidote to rising gas prices is for the House of Representatives to pass this week the Senate energy bill that includes an increase in the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards.”
“There is something we can do about the high price of gasoline, and we ought to do it,” said Alexander at today’s Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hearing on America’s Climate Security Act of 2007. “Three dollars a gallon gasoline is taking money out of the pockets of Tennesseans who can’t afford it, and if the House acts this week, then the president can sign the bill overnight.”
In response to questioning from Alexander, Oak Ridge National Laboratory expert Dr. David Greene testified at Tuesday’s hearing that the single most important way in the transportation sector to lower the nation’s dependence on oil would be to pass the Senate energy bill’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) provisions. Lowering the demand for oil would lower the price of gasoline, Alexander said. Dr. Greene added that a $10 reduction in the price of a barrel of oil would lead to a 25 cent drop in the cost of a gallon of gasoline.
The CLEAN Energy Act of 2007, which passed the Senate 65 to 27 in June, raises fuel efficiency standards by 10 miles per gallon over 10 years (to an average of 35 miles per gallon), increases ethanol production and includes laws against price-gouging.
The increase in the CAFE fuel efficiency standards for passenger cars and light trucks would achieve up to an 18 percent reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from expected levels and save consumers nearly $100 billion at the gas pump.