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E-M:/ Stabenow's statements on CAFE/vehicle fuel economy

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>


Date: Thu, 4 Apr 2002 14:30:54 -0500
To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
From: Robert Schultz <rhs@tdcnet6.umtri.umich.edu>
Subject: Re:Senate Energy Bill (was E-M:/ Lana Pollack on WEMU)

Thought you folks might like to read what Sen. Stabenow had to say about
the Levin-Bond Amendment to the Energy Bill.  As with every other query or
statement that I have posted to his e-mail address in the past, Sen. Levin
never replied.
   peace and pizza     -rs
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2002 16:20:56 -0500
From: Senator Debbie Stabenow <senator@stabenow.senate.gov>
Subject: Re: Senate Energy Bill

March 27, 2002

Thank you . . .

. . . for contacting me in support of increasing CAFE standards on cars
and trucks.  I share your support for increasing fuel efficiency and
promoting a cleaner environment. That is the reason that I do not support
a freeze on new CAFE increases. However, I do not believe the Kerry
amendment to the Energy Bill was the best way to achieve these goals.

As an alternative, I recently voted to direct the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration (NHTSA) to establish regulations for increasing fuel
efficiency for light trucks within the next 15 months and for passenger
cars within the next 24 months. This legislation, the Levin-Bond amendment
to the Energy Bill, passed the Senate by a vote of 62-38 on March 13,
2002. The Levin-Bond amendment will increase the fuel efficiency of all
SUVs and light trucks and will reduce our fuel consumption. Rather than
having Congress legislate an arbitrary CAFE number, the scientists and
experts at the NHTSA (which has jurisdiction over CAFE) will be allowed to
set an appropriate standard after they consider all the evidence,
including the impact on U.S. jobs and the environment. More importantly,
this legislation includes funding and market incentives to develop fuel
cells, hybrid engines, and clean diesel engines, which could yield great
fuel savings in the next 10 years. The Levin-Bond alternative includes
important consumer tax credits for alternative energy vehicles, which will
be offered in a separate amendment. These incentives will help create and
build market demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles, instead of locking
automakers into costly incremental CAFE increases. Not only will we keep
the jobs we currently have, we will increase jobs at companies in Michigan
that do this type of research and development for the manufacturers.

Unfortunately, I believe that the CAFE increases that were introduced by
Senator Kerry would have created a discriminatory effect on Michigan's
auto manufacturers, compared to automakers in other countries. The Kerry
amendment created a fleet-wide vehicle fuel efficiency requirement for the
first time that would place trucks, SUV's and cars under the same
standard. But because American manufacturers sell more trucks and SUV's
then their competitors, this fleet-wide requirement would lead them to
have to achieve a higher CAFE number than their foreign competitors.

For example, Daimler-Chrysler has a fleet mix of approximately 65% light
trucks and 35% passenger cars. Under the Kerry amendment, if
Daimler-Chrysler's light truck fleet achieved 28 miles per gallon, its
passenger car fleet would have to average over 76 miles per gallon to
achieve a 36 mile per gallon fleet-wide average. However, Honda, which has
a fleet mix of approximately 20% light trucks and 80% passenger cars,
would only have to achieve a passenger car fleet average of 38 miles per
gallon to achieve the same 36 miles per gallon fleet-wide average.

Unfortunately, Senator Kerry's CAFE proposal did not reflect the fuel
economy improvements of each vehicle; instead, it represented the averaged
fuel economy of an automaker's entire fleet, which depends on how many of
each model consumers actually buy.  Therefore, an automaker can increase
the fuel efficiency of all of their vehicles but still have a declining
CAFE average depending on what models sell the most.

The challenge for us as Americans is to set goals and standards that can
be realistically met through technology without the loss of jobs in the
short run.  If we make the right choices, I am confident we can achieve
that goal.

Thank you again for contacting me regarding this important issue.  As
always, if ever I can be of assistance to you or your family, please let
me know.

Debbie Stabenow
United States Senator

 >Enviro-Mich message from Michele Scarborough <mec@voyager.net>
 >Michigan Environmental Council President  Lana Pollack will be on WEMU
 >(FM 89.1) Friday morning, April 5, from 7:30 - 8:00 a.m. with David
 >This week the program will include a variety of issues including the
 >recent effort by Senators Levin and Stabenow to prevent fuel efficiency
 >standards from being strengthened in Washington,  the success of the
 >Great Lakes drilling decision, and the need for greater enforcement of
 >environmental law in Michigan.
 >To call in, dial (734) 487-8936 or toll-free 888-299-8910.
 >Michele Scarborough
 >Member Services Director
 >Michigan Environmental Council
 >119 Pere Marquette Dr., Ste. 2A
 >Lansing, MI 48912
 >(517) 487-9539
 >(517) 487-9541 fax

Alex J. Sagady & Associates  http://my.voyager.net/~ajs/sagady.pdf

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