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Automakers urge Congress not to block new emissions limits

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Automakers urge Congress not to block new emissions limits

David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington -- Detroit's Big Three automakers, Toyota Motor Corp. and six other automakers urged Congress today not to bar the Environmental Protection Agency from setting the first-ever limits on tailpipe emissions.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers -- which includes General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group LLC, Daimler AG, BMW AG and Volkswagen AG -- sent a letter today to congressional leaders urging them to reject efforts led by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, to overturn the EPA's finding that greenhouse gas emissions are a danger to public health.

Dave McCurdy, the group's president and CEO, warned that a deal reached last May between the White House, automakers and 13 states led by California would "collapse" if the EPA decision is overturned.

Under the deal, California and the other states agreed not to set their own tailpipe emissions standards if the federal government imposed national limits starting in the 2012 model year. Automakers got more flexibility and a slower ramp-up under the federal rules to reach a 30 percent reduction in emissions by the 2016 model year.

In a statement, Murkowski cited a press report that "automakers were pressured to weigh in against the bipartisan, bicameral disapproval resolutions that have been introduced to halt EPA climate regulations. Today, we see a letter that stems from that pressure," she said. "The notion that auto efficiency can only be improved with EPA's involvement is false."

A spokesman for the alliance, Charles Territo, denied that automakers were pressured into sending the letter. He said the industry was carefully reviewing the issue before it decided to send a letter.

If the rules aren't finalized "all of the work could go down the drain," Territo said, and the industry could be back to where it was in 2002 when California first passed its own tailpipe emissions regulations.

If EPA doesn't go ahead and set the rules by April 1, California will be able to go ahead with its standards, causing "a compliance nightmare across the country," McCurdy said.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which sets fuel efficiency standards, and EPA have sent the final joint regulation to the White House Office of Management and Budget for approval. The regulation covering the 2012-16 model years must be released in the next two weeks.

McCurdy said Congress should not reject the EPA regulation. Instead, he said, Congress should move to make "a national program permanent for 2017 and beyond."

McCurdy has held private talks with policymakers and automakers in an effort to reach an early deal on setting national standards after the 2016 model year.

The EPA found in December that greenhouse gas emissions pose a danger to public health. The Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that greenhouse gases can be regulated by the EPA under the Clean Air Act.

Also this week, the United Auto Workers union sent a letter to Congress urging it to allow the EPA emissions limits to take effect.

Vehicle greenhouse gases account for 23 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, according to the EPA.

The proposed standards would reduce emissions by nearly 950 million metric tons and conserve 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of the vehicles sold in the next five years -- the projected equivalent of taking 58 million cars off the road for an entire year. It would save motorists $3,000 in fuel over the lifetime of the vehicles, but add an average of $1,300 to the purchase price of a new vehicle.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20100317/AUTO01/3170419/1148/auto01/Automakers-urge-Congress-not-to-block-new-emissions-limits#ixzz0iTfD1OPo

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forgive my lack of caring what category this was placed in....

well... 2 of 6 are gov. owned...

this just sounds like corporatism... they having the "power" to tell congress not to do their job, whether it's because they(congress) are less stable than the EPA, or because the investment has already been made for the EPA ratings and they want it to not be spent on something that changed.

just my thoughts

Edited by loki
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Actually, it's more likely because the auto manufacturers don't want to have to build cars with multiple emissions levels.

"It would save motorists $3,000 in fuel over the lifetime of the vehicles, but add an average of $1,300 to the purchase price of a new vehicle."

sadly it doesn't say what it's basing the price of fuel on or what the "life of the vehicle" is. i'd say it's plausible gas will be $5-8 a gallon if we have anything like what we had in 08 again... not to mention the push for increased taxes on that gallon.

shouldn't the standardized emissions lower the cost of the vehicle? yes, i know more tech will be required, but maybe i'll sound a little like smk by saying, economies of scale!!!! ....?

at current and forecast budgets NIA.us thinks hyper-inflation is likely by 2015, so that could throw off their numbers by factors of more than ...i'll say 200%, but maybe they need a pat on the back for the research it took to come up with those numbers.


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