Securing America's Future Energy

EPA Report Confirms Optimized Fuel Economy Standards are Needed to Bolster U.S. National Security

Contact: Alex Adams | 202.461.2374 |

Washington, D.C.—In response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) latest Automotive Trends Report, which shows that fleet-wide fuel economy improved in 2017 vehicles by 0.2 miles per gallon (mpg), Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) President and CEO Robbie Diamond made the following statement:

“Although any increase in our nation’s fuel economy is to be encouraged, this falls far short of the savings required to meet the needs of our economic and national security. There is a suite of commercially-available driver-assist and crash-avoidance technologies that, if implemented, could generate significant fuel savings and squeeze more value out of every drop of oil we do consume. As we stand on the cusp of a new wave of transportation technology, with alternative fuels, safety innovations and connected technology, the U.S. can do better.”

The report states that the 0.2 mpg increase took fleet-wide fuel economy to 24.9 mpg. In addition, the report noted that by model year 2017, truck SUVs reached a record high of 32 percent of production and car SUVs remained at a record 12 percent of production. By contrast, sedans and wagons captured just 41 percent of the market—about half of the market share they held in model year 1975. In addition, in model year 2017, 53 percent of the fleet are cars and 47 percent are trucks.

Enacted in the wake of the 1973 OPEC oil embargo, fuel economy standards have formed a longstanding defense against oil price volatility and OPEC market manipulation. As the U.S. transportation system is 92 percent dependent on oil, efficiency regulations enhance our nation’s energy security by ensuring the U.S. transport network gets more mileage from every barrel of oil the United States uses. The uniquely global nature of oil prices, where a supply disruption anywhere in the world affects prices everywhere, means oil price volatility engineered by OPEC or from other factors will affect American consumers, regardless of how much oil the U.S. produces.

“By removing the credits that incentivize new technologies and reducing the flexibility to meet our fuel economy targets, the administration’s new fuel economy proposal will make it harder for automakers to bring these technologies to market, potentially denying the safety and energy security benefits these innovations provide. SAFE believes there is still time for a deal to be reached on these critical standards and we encourage an agreement. Failure to do so will result in our fuel economy standards becoming mired in lengthy and uncertain litigation.” Diamond added.


About Securing America’s Future Energy

Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is an action-oriented, nonpartisan organization that aims to reduce America’s dependence on oil. Near-total dependence on petroleum in the transportation sector undermines the nation’s economic and national security, and constrains U.S. foreign policy. To combat these threats, SAFE advocates for expanded domestic production of U.S. oil and gas resources, continued improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency, and transportation sector innovations including electric vehicles, natural gas trucks, and autonomous vehicles. In 2006, SAFE joined with General P.X. Kelley (Ret.), 28th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO of FedEx Corporation, to form the Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a group of business and former military leaders committed to reducing the United States’ dependence on oil. Today, the ESLC is co-chaired by Frederick W. Smith and General James T. Conway (Ret), 34th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.


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