Oppose Carper-Specter Amendment and Support Bond-Levin CAFE provision (S. 517)
April 24, 2002
To Members of the United States Senate:
As the Senate continues its debate on comprehensive energy legislation (S. 517), the U.S. Chamber urges you to oppose an amendment by Senators Carper and Specter regarding auto efficiency standards. This amendment would lead to significant Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) increases, and would harm jobs, consumer choice and highway safety.
The Carper-Specter amendment would establish an arbitrary target to reduce the amount of fuel consumed in our passenger cars and light trucks in 2015 by one million barrels per day. This proposal would lead to CAFE increases similar to those proposed by Senator Kerry that the Senate rejected in March. Mandating dramatic increases in CAFE would result in decreased vehicle utility and possibly reduce the safety of vehicles used by both businesses and the public at large.
The U.S. Senate has already appropriately addressed the CAFE issue during the energy policy debate. The U.S. Chamber supported the Bond-Levin amendment to allow the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to fulfill its statuary role as the expert agency on fuel economy and setting new CAFE standards. This amendment, which was approved in a strong, bipartisan vote of 62-38, will allow NHTSA to consider jobs, safety, technology and impacts on the economy as they set increased CAFE standards at the "maximum feasible" level.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing more than three million companies and organizations of every size, sector and region, urges you to oppose the Carper-Specter amendment and support the Bond-Levin CAFE provision now included in S. 517. The U.S. Chamber will consider using votes on or in relation to this issue for inclusion in our annual "How They Voted" scorecard.
R. Bruce Josten
Executive Vice President, Government Affairs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce