More local voices at U.S. mpg hearing

I'm listening in again on the hearing in Philadelphia on proposed standards to increase the fuel efficiency of the average car and light truck made in the U.S. to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

Colleen Kennedy of Delaware County is talking about how "life-changing" this rule could be for her. Born with asthma, she has experienced a host of problems. Now, she has a heart problem.

Air pollution exacerbates her plight and her symptoms. "I feel that this is a no-brainer," she said.

After her, Joy Bergey, of an interfaith group, praised the panel listening to the testimony for still being awake, which brought a few laughs. A long day, and it's going to get longer.

Earlier, Brendan Flynn, a Coast Guard Academy graduate from Meadville, Pa., urged adooption of the proposal as well. 

“It is very clear to me that America’s oil dependence makes us vulnerable," he said. "A number of my good friends from the Coast Guard have served in-theater guarding oil platforms just off the coast of Iraq from waterborne suicide boat attacks. One such attack, in 2004, took the life of Damage Controlman Third Class Nathan B. Bruckenthal – the first Coast Guardsman to be killed in action since Vietnam. U.S. forces recently turned over oil platform security duties to the Iraqis, but oil infrastructure continues to be a target for attack both overseas and here at home."

Flynn was Military and Veterans Affairs Director for U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Murphy of Bucks County. Most recently, he served on the staff of the Truman National Security Project, where he was a founding organizer of the Operation Free campaign, an effort to support clean energy from the national security perspective.

“This is why I believe that we must adopt the 54.5 mpg standard. Nearly half of the oil we use goes towards fueling our cars and trucks, meaning building cars that use less gas will help break our addiction to oil," Flynn said.

“This standard is good for our economy, as it will spur new investments in energy-efficient engines. It is good for our national security – as the less reliant we are on one source of energy, the less vulnerable we are to a major disruption of supply," he said. "Frankly, the only people that this standard is bad for are the insurgents and terrorists fighting against our troops and plotting to attack our nation.”