End government loopholes for gas guzzler automobiles!

Just two weeks before gas prices hit $3.00 a gallon, President Bush’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed changes to federal fuel economy standards. Unfortunately, their proposal will not help, and could actually undermine U.S. energy security.

Shockingly, the proposal by NHTSA would continue to exempt large gas-guzzlers like the Hummer H2 from compliance with fuel efficiency standards. This loophole would continue to give a free pollution pass to the biggest offenders on the road and undermine efforts to improve America’s fuel economy. NHTSA’s plan would also base fuel economy requirements on new vehicle size classes – thereby creating the potential for yet more loopholes where automakers can downsize their commitment to fuel efficiency by “upsizing” their vehicles.

NHTSA will be accepting public comment through November 21. This is your chance to tell the government that you want standards that bring us better vehicle choices, not more gas-guzzling models that take advantage of regulatory loopholes.

Americans can’t afford to wait any longer for better fuel economy. Take action today!

Dear Ms. Glassman,

I am writing this letter in response to your agencys proposed changes to Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards (NHTSA-2005-22223). I am copying my members of Congress on this letter as I expect them to play an active role on this matter as well.

Americans are feeling the pain of high gas prices. Our over-reliance on oil, as exposed by the tragic hurricanes in the Gulf Coast, is deeply concerning to me. Boosting auto fuel economy is clearly an economic, environmental, and national security priority.

Your proposed changes to Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations are simply inadequate. Automakers have a long history of unfulfilled promises on fuel economy. Therefore, strong standards are essential to ensure drivers are offered the efficient car, pickup, SUV, and minivan choices they deserve. Here are a few clear ways you can strengthen your proposal:
  • Large gas-guzzlers such as the Hummer H2 must be regulated. The exemption of these vehicles from fuel economy standards is a free pollution pass to automakers, and is inexcusable.

  • Close current automaker loopholes. Cost-efficient technologies already exist to bring midsize SUVs to achieve similar fuel economy as cars without sacrificing safety or performance. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, closing these loopholes could reduce my gas costs by the same amount as dropping gasoline prices by more than 60 cents per gallon.

  • Ensure new size classes won't open new loopholes. Basing fuel economy on vehicle size gives automakers the opportunity to upsize their vehicles and downsize their commitment to fuel efficiency. Additional checks and balances are required to ensure this system is not abused by the automakers.

Please consider my situation and recommendations when making your final proposal.

[your name]
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