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Schumer Fuel Efficient Tire Amendment Passes Senate Would Save NYers $225 Million, Conserve Fuel, And Reduce U.S. Dependency On Foreign Oil

Senate Passes Energy Bill with Schumer Amendment, Once Law It Will Cut Reliance on Foreign Oil and Save Money at the Pump

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumers amendment passed the Senate last night, requiring the federal government to establish efficiency standards for the replacement tires that drivers buy when the old tires wear out. Most current replacement tires are between 20 and 60 percent less efficient than the original tires automakers equip cars with to help meet federal fuel economy standards. Schumer introduced the amendment last Tuesday to the Energy Bill, which just passed the Senate 8512.

This is great news for New York, and for the countrys energy policy, Schumer said. We are savings drivers money at the pump, conserving fuel and reducing our dependency on foreign oil. If fuel efficient tires are good enough when you buy a new car, they should be good enough when its time to replace those tires down the road.

Schumer released data showing that for an extra $5 to $12 per set of replacement tires, the average motorist can reduce his or her gasoline consumption by 1.5 to 4.5 percent, saving $50$150 over the life of the tires. According to the National Resources Defense Council, the United States could save 360,000 barrels of oil a day by the year 2015 if all replacement tires were as efficient as the originals. In New York alone, efficient replacement tires would save 150 million gallons of gasoline and $240 million a year. Savings nationwide would total between $2.5 and $7.5 billion a year, according to Green Seal Environmental Partners, an independent, nonprofit organization that produces Consumer ReportsTM like investigations into the environmental friendliness of consumer products.

Schumer's Amendment directs the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, a division of the US Department of Transportation, to establish an efficiency standard and labeling requirements for replacement tires so consumers know if the tires they buy are as efficient as the ones that came as original equipment when their cars were new. These standards would be reviewed and updated every three years to keep up with improvements in tire technology.

Tire efficiency is measured through rolling resistance, or the amount of energy needed to roll a tire down the road. Because of their higher rolling resistance, replacement tires are as much as 60 percent less efficient than the most efficient tires, like the ones tires that automakers use to help meet the federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, according to Green Seal. If all replacement tires were as efficient as the originals, fuel economy nationwide would improve by about 3%, and the United States could save 5 billion barrels of oil between 2007 and 2050, according to the National Resources Defense Council.