FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 2, 2001
TOUGHER FUEL STANDARDS FOR PASSENGER VEHICLES FAILS:
OUR US REPRESENTATIVES ARE OUT OF TOUCH WITH THE NEEDS OF THIS COUNTRY
Reacting to last nights vote on the attempt by Massachusetts Congressman Edward Markey to raise the fuel efficiency standards on light trucks (SUVs, mini-vans, and pick-ups) to 27.5 mpg, the Sierra Club expressed extreme disappointment in the Missouri congressional delegation. All voted against raising such standards.
We expect our members of Congress to recognize the needs of this nation and the world to reduce dependency upon fossil fuels, and to promote clean and health air quality, said Ken Midkiff of the Missouri Sierra Club. Last night, our entire delegation turned their backs on those needs.
The votes of US Reps Richard Gephardt, Karen McCarthy and Lacy Clay are particularly disappointing, because in discussions with these elected officials and their staff, it is clear that they understand societal and global needs. They were under considerable pressure by the auto industry and its minions, and they caved to this pressure, rejecting reality and denying their own beliefs. Midkiff concluded. The auto industry asserted that higher fuel efficiency would cost jobs and result in unsafe vehicles both of these notions are blatantly untrue.
US REPS FAILED TO DRAW THE CONNECTION: DRILLING IN THE ARCTIC RESPONDS TO INDUSTRY DEMANDS FOR FOSSIL FUELS.
In votes on a separate amendment to the Energy Bill (HR 4), the US Congress voted to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, even though poll after poll shows that the American people are overwhelmingly opposed to such desecration. All Missouri Republicans voted for such drilling, with Democrat Ike Skelton (D-MO4) voting with the Republican majority.
The earlier vote on closing the light truck loophole set the stage for this vote, stated Midkiff. By requiring higher fuel efficiency for these passenger vehicles, any perceived need for drilling in the Arctic would have been negated. This is an easy connection, and one that our US Representatives were aware of, but chose to reject. You cant have it both ways: In order to reduce demand, we must increase efficiency.
While closing the light truck loophole is likely dead for this session of Congress, it is anticipated that the US Senate will bar drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.