FedEx CEO Urges Congress to Increase Fuel Economy, U.S. Oil Supply
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- FedEx Corp. CEO Frederick W. Smith appeared before the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship June 14, urging lawmakers to enact energy reforms being debated this week in the Senate.The committee, chaired by Senator John Kerry (D-MA), called the hearing to address the impact of rising gas prices on American small businesses. Smith is co-chair of the Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a group of prominent business leaders and retired senior military officers pushing to reduce U.S. dependence on oil. "Right now, we are exporting hundreds of billions of dollars to people who wish us ill," Smith testified. He encouraged the senators to increase access to domestic oil supply, strengthen fuel-economy standards for all vehicles, and promote greater use of energy alternatives to oil.Two of those provisions are included in legislation endorsed by the ESLC. That bill, the "Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007," proposes new fuel economy standards that would result in a 35 mpg average for the fleet of U.S. cars and trucks by 2020. Thereafter, annual four-percent increases in the fuel-economy of the entire new vehicle fleet would be required. The bill also includes standards for medium- and heavy-duty commercial trucks for the first time. The legislation's renewable fuel standard requires 30 billion gallons of biofuels by 2020 and 36 billion gallons by 2022."By strengthening fuel-economy standards, facilitating the development of diversified fuel sources, and expanding stable domestic production, America's leaders can dramatically boost our economic and national security, but they do not have the luxury of delaying these decisions far into the future," Smith testified. "The choices must be made now, and in fact these decisions are confronting the Senate this week."