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UAW to run radio ads promoting Hill-Terry CAFE standards

08/01/07

DETROIT – The UAW announced today it will run radio ads promoting a bill sponsored by U.S. Reps. Baron Hill, D-Ind., and Lee Terry, R-Neb., to raise Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards by as much as 40 percent by 2022.

The bipartisan legislation protects American auto jobs and preserves choice for consumers in the automotive marketplace.

”Americans want cleaner, greener cars on the road,” said UAW President Ron Gettelfinger. “Consumers also want a choice of appropriate vehicles for their lifestyles and occupations, and we absolutely need to put top priority on preserving good-paying manufacturing jobs in the domestic auto industry.

“The Hill-Terry bill is the only proposal before Congress that meets all three objectives.”

The UAW advertisements will appear on radio stations in Jefferson City, St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo.; Indianapolis; Grand Rapids, Mich., and on newspaper Web sites in Chicago and Gary, Ind.

The radio ads will also be available for listening and downloading on the UAW Web site.

The Hill-Terry bill currently has 138 sponsors in the House of Representatives. The UAW ads will run in districts whose members of Congress have not yet committed to support the bill.

“There are a number of competing proposals out there, and we want to make sure members of Congress and their constituents have all the facts,” said Gettelfinger. “This is a tough piece of legislation, with no loopholes and no gimmicks. If it passes, it will mandate the largest ever increases in CAFE standards – and it’s also a proposal that is technologically and economically feasible. BMW, Toyota, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and other automakers have signed on to support this bill because they know they can meet its requirements and still deliver quality, affordable vehicles to their customers.”

Under the terms of the Hill-Terry bill, fuel economy standards for passenger cars and light trucks must be increased so the average fuel economy of all vehicles manufactured in 2022 equals 32-35 miles per gallon. This represents a substantial increase from the current standard of 27.5 miles per gallon for passenger cars, and 22.5 miles per gallon for light trucks.

The Hill-Terry bill, said Gettelfinger, is “far more responsible than other proposals. The Senate bill on this subject would be a disaster for our industry, and the extreme bill being promoted by Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., is just as bad, if not worse.

“The time is right to push hard for environmental progress, including better fuel economy. But if you try to force billions of dollars of retooling costs on the domestic auto industry in too short a time frame, the result will be plant closings, economic dislocation and the loss of jobs, wages and benefits for active and retired workers.

“The United States is far behind our global competitors when it comes to policies that actively support manufacturing industries in areas such as universal health care, fair trade, currency manipulation and workers’ rights,” said Gettelfinger. “The last thing Congress should do is pass a bill that will cripple the ability of a key manufacturing industry to provide quality products and good-paying jobs.

“Fortunately, there’s a much better alternative. The Hill-Terry bill will dramatically improve gas mileage, lessen our dependence on foreign oil, provide consumers with good choices, and protect American jobs. That’s why we’re launching an advocacy campaign to support this important legislation.”