[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

E-M:/ News Release: "Dependence Day" Study Finds $770 Million in Michigan Gas Savings Through Fuel Efficiency Proposal

(The new home for PIRGIM’s environmental work)


For Immediate Release:                                                Contact:  Mike Shriberg, Ph.D.

May 31, 2006                                                                             Director, Environment Michigan



“Dependence Day” Study Finds that Increasing Vehicle Gas Mileage Would Save Michiganders Over $770 Million at the Pump


Ann Arbor, MI— With gasoline prices hovering around $3 a gallon and Congress poised to vote on a proposal to increase automobile gas mileage standards to at least 33 miles per gallon (mpg), Environment Michigan marked “Dependence Day” by releasing an analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists documenting the benefits of a 33 mpg standard and calling on Representatives Conyers and Schwarz to support it.


Dependence Day is the day each year when the U.S. will figuratively run out of domestic oil and be forced to rely on foreign imports for the remainder of the year.  In 2006, the U.S. will import nearly 60 percent of its oil, so we will effectively rely on foreign oil from May 31 until the end of the year. 


“The best way to break America’s oil addiction and save consumers money at the pump is to make our cars and SUVs go farther on a gallon of gasoline,” said Mike Shriberg, Environment Michigan’s Director.


As soon as the first week of June, the U.S. House of Representatives is likely to consider a bill introduced by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) that allows the Bush administration to re-structure the fuel economy program for passenger cars without guaranteeing that cars actually get better gas mileage.  Reps. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) plan to introduce an amendment to the bill requiring an increase in the average fuel economy of cars and SUVs to at least 33 mpg by 2016.


“The good news is that we already have the technology to make our cars and SUVs get 40 mpg,” said Shriberg.  “We need Congress to put American and Detroit know-how to work to cut oil demand and save consumers money.”


The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has estimated that increasing the fuel economy of cars and SUVs to 33 mpg by 2016 would reduce America’s oil demand by 500,000 barrels of oil per day in 2015 and 2.1 million barrels of oil per day in 2025. Nationwide, consumers would save at least $19 billion at the pump in 2015 and $79 billion in 2025. 


Here in Michigan, consumers would enjoy net savings of at least $770 million at the gas pump in 2016, according to the UCS analysis. 


Environment Michigan called on Representatives Conyers and Schwarz to support the Markey-Boehlert amendment and to oppose any fuel economy bill that does not set a specific target increase in gas mileage standards.


“If Representatives Conyers and Schwarz are serious about reducing America’s dependence on oil and saving consumers money at the pump, it’s time to support real action to make our cars go farther on a gallon of gas,” stated Shriberg. 



Environment Michigan – the new home for PIRGIM’s environmental work – is a non-profit, non-partisan environmental advocacy organization with over 10,000 members throughout the state.