Labor Union Alliance, Including UAW, Backs Higher Fuel Economy Rules

July 20, 2011
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The BlueGreen Alliance, a partnership between environmental organizations and labor unions (including the United Auto Workers), is strongly supporting the current administration’s push for stricter fuel economy standards. The Obama administration is considering increasing Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) requirements to 56.2 miles per gallon by 2025.

The BlueGreen Alliance sees increasing fuel economy standards as essential to reduce oil consumption, lower greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen the U.S. auto industry. Increasing the design and deployment of advanced fuel-saving technology would protect U.S. automotive jobs and create more opportunities for domestic workers, according to a letter submitted to the White House by the alliance.

Opposing the higher CAFE standard is the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade organization representing both foreign and domestic automakers. The group has launched a series of ads warning of the dangers of setting aggressive fuel economy goals, which it represents as costing jobs and raising new car prices significantly.

The AAM is asking for any changes from 2017 through 2025 to be back weighted, which will allow automakers a longer period of time to make significant gains in fuel economy

The Obama administration must strike a balance between the two groups, while keeping an eye on California. In 2009, California agreed to adopt the federal standard for greenhouse gas emission through 2016. If the state perceives federal standards from 2017 through 2025 to be weak, the California Air Resources Board may again set independent requirements.

[The Detroit News]

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