Letter to Welch
by John Harbison |
A letter to Congressman Welch asking for support on the Markey-Platts CAFE standards bill.
March 19, 2007
The Honorable Peter Welch
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Re: Markey-Platts Fuel Economy BillH.R. 1506and Pavley
I hope you will co-sponsor H.R. 1506, the Markey-Platts CAFE standards bill. Im sure youre well aware of Congresss failure to advance fuel economy standards for many yearswhich would be the cheapest and quickest way to address global warming and energy security. After Congress passed the first Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards in 1975, the industry increased the fuel economy of cars by more than 60 percent in ten years. The original CAFE was the most successful oil savings law ever passed. But today the average fuel economy of new vehicles is lower than it was 20 years ago. The National Academy of Sciences says that existing and emerging technologies could increase the average fuel economy of new vehicles to 37 mpg within 10-15 years, without affecting safety. And that doesnt include hybrids!
As a lawyer for the Sierra Club, Im involved in the automobile industrys challenge to Vermonts adoption of the California Pavley rules on CO2 emissions. The trial starts this week before Judge Sessions and has national implications. Its a shame that the industry, and three Vermont automobile dealers, are bringing a team of expensive D.C. lawyers to Burlington to fight smarter cars and trucks rather than putting their engineers to work figuring out how to abate global warming. Instead, the plaintiffs have asked Judge Sessions (whom I admire) to close much of the trial to the press and public and redact the transcript to protect trade secrets. I.e., how to build vehicles that emit less CO2. We have a hearing on the issue this morning. In my 25-years as a lawyer and law professor, this is a first.
Thanks again for your demonstrated interest in energy and environmental policy. The 3,000 members of the Vermont Sierra Club would be grateful for your support of H.R. 1506.
Vermont Chapter Chair
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