On Wednesday, October 13 2021, LCV Government Affairs Advocate Darien Davis gave a powerful testimony at a hearing before the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on clean cars standards.
Read Darien’s full testimony below:
Testimony of Darien Davis,
Government Advocate for Climate and Clean Energy at the League of Conservation Voters,
before the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),
Department of Transportation (DOT)
at the Public Hearing for
Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards for Model Years 2024-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks;
October 13, 2021
Hello and thank you for giving me the opportunity to testify on the CAFE rule today. My name is Darien Davis, and I am a Government Affairs Advocate for Climate and Clean Energy at the League of Conservation Voters, or LCV. I’m here today on behalf of LCV’s more than 2 million members and network of 30 state partner organizations across the country.
I appreciate the Biden administration’s swift action on clean cars standards — it is clear that undoing the harmful rollbacks of the previous administration has been a top priority since day one. Now that the proposed rule is out, I urge the NHTSA to create the strongest possible fuel economy standard for vehicles – NHTSA should seek to finalize “Alternative 3” of this proposed rule. By enacting the strongest possible fuel economy standards, NHTSA can help to rapidly advance the electrification of the transportation sector.
As you know, the transportation sector is the largest source of emissions and needs bold action to accelerate the transition to zero emission vehicles across all types. The strongest possible version of this rule would do much more than reducing pollution and curbing climate change: it would help to secure and grow auto sector jobs, while ensuring pocketbook gains for families and communities.
As a young consumer, I’m hoping to purchase my first vehicle soon but I am dissuaded by rising gas costs and pollution from vehicles with internal combustion engines. Yesterday, crude oil prices hit a seven-year high of $80 a barrel — that translates to roughly $2.86 per gallon of gas at the pump. Of course, that price is even higher in cities like DC since it is more expensive to own and operate gas stations here. I’m just one of many potential buyers to express this concern — a 2020 Consumer Reports survey found that 94 percent of Americans who were planning to buy or lease a vehicle in the next two years said that fuel economy is important to them.
For me, purchasing a zero emission vehicle is a no-brainer — I’d like to save money at the pump while minimizing my carbon footprint. Ultimately, the strongest possible CAFE rule would help grow the share of new zero emission vehicles sold to approximately 60-75% of new car sales by 2030. Once again, I urge this administration to set the strongest possible fuel economy standards by finalizing Alternative 3. Simply put: these standards are practical and help to maximize the deployment of electric vehicles. Thank you for the opportunity to testify today.