Washington, D.C.—In response to the announcement that the White House, U.S. Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency have decided to discontinue discussions with the California Air Resources Board on the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule, Admiral Dennis Blair (Ret.), the former Director of National Intelligence and Commander in Chief of U.S. Pacific Command and a member of Securing America’s Future Energy’s (SAFE’s) Energy Security Leadership Council, made the following statement:
“This outcome is close to the worst-case scenario, as it creates significant uncertainty for U.S. automakers and all but guarantees our nation’s critical fuel economy standards will become mired in lengthy litigation. Instead of fighting with each other, we should be working together to counter the anti-market actions of OPEC. The U.S. military spends $81 billion per year and places our servicemen and women in harm’s way to protect global oil supply lines, benefiting a cartel which has long acted counter to U.S. strategic priorities and American free-market values. True energy security can only be achieved by maximizing domestic oil production, while ensuring we extract as much economic value as possible from every barrel of oil we do consume.”
Enacted in the wake of the 1973 OPEC oil embargo, fuel economy standards have formed a longstanding defense against oil price volatility and OPEC market manipulation. As 92 percent of the U.S. transportation system is powered by oil, efficiency regulations have enabled the United States to squeeze more out of every barrel of oil we do consume, enhancing our nation’s energy security. The uniquely global nature of oil prices, where a supply disruption anywhere in the world affects prices everywhere, means oil price volatility engineered by OPEC or from other factors will affect American consumers, regardless of how much oil the U.S. produces.
“SAFE believes a deal on fuel economy benefiting the country is reachable, creating a 50-state solution that optimizes these crucial standards for years into the future. By incorporating commercially-available crash avoidance and driver-assist technologies, and by restoring a single national program, we believe a deal that benefits the country is reachable,” Blair added.
About Securing America’s Future Energy
Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is an action-oriented, nonpartisan organization that aims to reduce America’s dependence on oil. Near-total dependence on petroleum in the transportation sector undermines the nation’s economic and national security, and constrains U.S. foreign policy. To combat these threats, SAFE advocates for expanded domestic production of U.S. oil and gas resources, continued improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency, and transportation sector innovations including electric vehicles, natural gas trucks, and autonomous vehicles. In 2006, SAFE joined with General P.X. Kelley (Ret.), 28th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO of FedEx Corporation, to form the Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a group of business and former military leaders committed to reducing the United States’ dependence on oil. Today, the ESLC is co-chaired by Frederick W. Smith and General James T. Conway (Ret), 34th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.
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