Aug 17, 2007

Automakers, union and government officials demonstrate support for fuel economy legislation

Chicago, Illinois – Hundreds of auto workers, business people and government officials from the greater Chicago area held a demonstration yesterday at Federal Plaza, urging federal lawmakers to support legislation introduced to raise fuel economy in cars and trucks.

The bi-partisan legislation was introduced by two Representatives, Democrat Baron Hill and Republican Lee Terry.

“The Hill-Terry bill – H.R. 2927 – is a sensible approach to fuel economy,” says Mark Haasis, Illinois Legislative Director of the United Auto Workers (UAW). “It calls for tough standards, but it recognizes that cars and trucks have different roles and should be regulated separately when it comes to fuel economy.”

The bill, co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of over 160 congressional representatives, requires increases in car and truck standards, such that the total fleet falls between 32 and 35 mpg (7.3 and 6.7 L/100 km) by model year 2022, and requires cars and trucks to be treated separately. The bill would require automakers to improve fuel economy in all sizes of vehicles, and would provide funding for advanced technologies, such as high-strength lightweight materials, plug-in hybrids, clean diesels and hydrogen fuel cells.

A Senate-passed bill calls for a 35 mpg (6.7 L/100 km) average, cars and trucks combined, by 2020. Critics say that it will raise vehicle prices, eliminate jobs and damage the U.S. economy, with Ford, Chrysler and GM required to cut production of their large pickups and SUVs by 60 per cent.

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