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Sen. Murkowski Responds to Auto Industry Letter

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, released the following statement March 17 in response to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers' letter regarding Environmental Protection Agency climate regulations:

"Two weeks ago, it was reported that automakers were pressured to weigh in against the bipartisan, bicameral disapproval resolutions that have been introduced to halt EPA climate regulations. Today,  we see a letter that stems from that pressure," Murkowski said.

Before the current administration took office, the United States had a single, uniform fuel-economy standard. It was the current administration's decision to grant a California waiver request, thereby allowing individual states to regulate fuel economy, which has made the threat of a patchwork of regulations real. The administration created this problem, but it also has the authority to fix it.

On this point, Senator Murkowski said, "The notion that auto efficiency can only be improved with EPA's involvement is false. As the Auto Alliance letter points out 'As a practical matter, greenhouse gas standards are the functional equivalent of fuel economy standards, since the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by a vehicle is proportional to the amount of fuel consumed.' Statutory authority to improve fuel economy has existed for 35 years at the Transportation Department, and it still exists today."

Sen. Murkowski is the ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and voted to increase fuel-economy in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (H.R. 6). She was the original cosponsor of the Improved Passenger Automobile Fuel Economy Act of 2007 (S. 183), during the 110th Congress, which required fuel economy to reach 40 miles per gallon by 2017. She also introduced the REFRESH Act (S. 298), to improve auto mileage and encourage the purchase of more efficient vehicles.

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