We Deserve to Have Cleaner Cars

Automakers are using a page right out of the disinformation playbook to get Congress to roll back historic progress on vehicle efficiency

Automakers are using every trick in the book to undermine successful vehicle efficiency standards—the ones that help us all go farther on a gallon of gas and protect our environment and health. They're not only petitioning President Trump to weaken the standards, they're now asking  their allies in Congress to weaken these standards as well.


Photo: Ford Motor Company/CC0

As part of these attacks, Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) and Representative Fred Upton (R-Michigan) have introduced corporate welfare bills that would give automakers free credits which they can use to significantly slow their progress on making cars more fuel efficient into the future. Ultimately this legislation would increase oil use by 350 million barrels of oil, increase global warming emissions by 155 million metric tons, and take money ($34 billion!) directly out of American families’ wallets. 

Both pieces of legislation would let automakers off the hook so that they don’t need to follow through on their promise to make cars and trucks that go further on a gallon of gas, something roughly 80 percent of Americans want to see them do. 

We can’t let Congress take away the work we’ve done to get cleaner cars. We must act now to stop the attacks on vehicle efficiency standards.  

Call your members of Congress today and ask them to oppose legislation that would undermine vehicle efficiency standards! 

A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the House & Senate office you request: (202) 224-3121.  

Call-in scripts are below to help guide you. You can also learn more about how to have a successful call and can use these state-by-state fact sheets to show how the standards have benefited your state. 

Are you calling any of these legislators? 

  • Senator Roy Blunt (Missouri)
  • Senator Claire McCaskill (Missouri)
  • Senator Jerry Moran (Kansas)
  • Senator Todd Young (Indiana)
  • Senator Gary Peters (Michigan)
  • Senator Debbie Stabenow (Michigan)
  • Representative Debbie Dingell (Michigan)
  • Representative Fred Upton (Michigan)

If yes, use this call-in script for these legislators who have signed on to the bill:

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [City/Town].

If Senate: I'm calling to express my strong disappointment that [SENATOR] has co-sponsored a bill that will roll back the car efficiency standards, Senate bill 1273.

If House: I’m calling to express my strong disappointment that [REPRESENTATIVE] is helping to introduce a bill that will roll back car efficiency standards, H.R. 4011.

This bill is an attack on strong vehicle efficiency standards. As a constituent, I want my senator/representative to make sure that I continue to have access to cleaner cars.  Automakers should continue to use the best available technology to improve car efficiency, and strong standards are what drive this innovation. This bill would weaken the clean car standards with a corporate giveaway of free credits to automakers while making drivers pay more at the pump.

So I just wanted to express my disappointment that Senator XX has given their support to this bill.

Thank you for your time.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

If no, use this call-in script for your senators and to contact your senators and representative: 

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [City/town].

If Senate: I'm calling to express my strong opposition to the bill that will roll back the car efficiency standards, Senate bill 1273, that has been introduced by Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri.

If House: I'm calling to express my strong opposition to the bill that will roll back car efficiency standards, H.R. 4011, that has been introduced by Representative Fred Upton of Michigan. 

This bill is an attack on strong vehicle efficiency standards. As a constituent, I want my Senator/Representative to make sure that I continue to have access to cleaner cars.  Automakers should continue to use the best available technology to improve car efficiency, and strong standards are what drive this innovation. This bill would weaken the clean car standards with a corporate giveaway of free credits to automakers while making drivers pay more at the pump.

I ask my senator/representative to oppose this bill and any future attacks on strong fuel efficiency standards.

Thank you for your time.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied] 

Did you make a call?

Thank you for taking action! Please let us know how it went, so we can highlight the impact that UCS supporters like you are having! It only takes a minute to fill out the survey—your input is greatly appreciated!

Child plugging in a Nissan Leaf


Photo: Oregon Department of Transportation

Do more!

You can also highlight the dangers of these bills in your local paper and write a letter to the editor (LTE). Talking points are below to help you get started, and you can also learn more about how to write a successful letter to the editor

Please let us know if you’ve submitted an LTE, and how it went, so we can measure our impact! 

Finally, once you’ve taken the action to tell your representatives to protect the clean car standards, you can also tell automakers to do the same! 

Talking points

  • Americans overwhelmingly want cleaner, more efficient cars. No matter what size car they’re buying, they expect that automakers will give them more efficient choices. A recent Consumers Union survey found that 87 percent of Americans want automakers to improve vehicle fuel economy. 
  • Vehicle efficiency standards are helping drivers save money at the pump, cutting our oil use, reducing dangerous pollution, spurring innovation, and creating jobs. 
  • Automakers already have the technology to meet the standards in the future. Technological innovation is happening even faster than was expected when the standards were originally written.
  • These bills would let automakers off the hook to the detriment of consumers and the planet. It would result in 350 million barrels of additional oil consumption, cause 155 million metric tons of additional global warming pollution, and cost drivers $34 billion in unnecessary fuel costs.     

Last revised date: September 15, 2017