— The Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a project of Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE), expressed strong support for landmark fuel economy legislation approved recently by the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. The bipartisan bill promises to achieve substantial reductions in U.S. oil dependence by addressing consumption in the transportation sector, which accounts for nearly 70 percent of total U.S. oil demand.
The Ten-In-Ten Fuel Economy Act, reported out of the Commerce Committee with support from a broad coalition of Republicans and Democrats, would increase the fuel economy of all on-road vehicles.
"The Ten-in-Ten Fuel Economy Act is a bold, bipartisan effort that will greatly improve the national security of the United States by reducing our oil dependence. The legislation deserves broad support."
"The Energy Security Leadership Council commends Chairman Inouye, Vice Chairman Stevens, Senator Dorgan, and Senator Snowe and other members of the committee who helped advance this important initiative to address profound economic and national security vulnerability. Senators Craig and Feinstein also made major contributions to today's victory," remarked General P.X. Kelley, USMC (Ret.), 28th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps and Co-Chair of the ESLC.
The bill incorporates four major provisions central to the ESLC's policy recommendations: presumptive and aggressive increases in vehicle fuel economy; application of those required economy increases to all on-road vehicles, including cars, SUVs, and medium and heavy trucks; an attribute-based system that gives the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) the authority to group vehicles by like-attributes and then apply different standards for like vehicles; and "off ramps" to protect consumers and manufacturers by allowing NHTSA to relax the mandated increases if such improvements are economically infeasible or unsafe.
The ESLC is an intensive effort by a collection of prominent business leaders and retired military officers to build support for a comprehensive policy to reduce U.S. oil dependence. SAFE is a nonpartisan, non-profit organization committed to reducing America's dependence on oil and improving U.S. energy security in order to bolster national security and strengthen the economy.
Frederick W. Smith, chairman, president and CEO of FedEx and an ESLC co- chair, commented, "The Energy Security Leadership Council was pleased to work with the members of the Commerce Committee and deeply appreciates their efforts. The Ten-In-Ten Fuel Economy Act reflects key principles central to improving U.S. economic and national security."
"As individuals who have been grappling with the challenges that oil dependence poses to American prosperity and security, the Energy Security Leadership Council is pleased to support the Ten-In-Ten Fuel Economy Act," said Smith. “We look forward to working with members of the Senate in the coming weeks to improve this important legislation and address the critical need to increase domestic oil supply."