News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) - Today, by a 62-38 vote, the Senate rejected new automobile fuel economy requirements. Instead, the Senate adopted a more industry-friendly proposal that would direct the Transportation Department to develop new fuel economy rules in two years. Senator Murray voted against the measure. Her statement follows:

"I am deeply disappointed that the Senate has retreated in our commitment to improving auto efficiency. The over-blown PR efforts by opponents of this measure have created the misperception that improving auto efficiency standards will lead to the death of the SUV.

Opponents of auto efficiency paint a picture of government agents raiding suburban garages in search of Ford Explorers. That's nonsense.

American ingenuity built the Internet. We found a cure for polio. We put a man on the moon. Surely if we can send a vehicle into space, and bring it back safely, we can build an engine that is more fuel-efficient.

In fact, hybrid electric-gasoline vehicles are already available in auto showrooms. And the competing proposal to increase efficiency standards for auto manufacturers' fleets would be phased in over 13 years. There is little doubt that the auto industry could improve its fleet efficiency in the next 13 years.

We hear many people speak of reducing America's dependence on foreign oil. Today the Senate voted to maintain that dependence for the foreseeable future. As a result, their calls for drilling in the Alaskan wilderness are now seriously undermined.

America has not increased fuel efficiency standards in 15 years. I hope that in the days to come, Congress will recognize that we must look to the high-technology solutions of the future to reduce our dependence on the fossil fuels of the past."