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E-M:/ Detroit Free Press: Auto industry opposes holiday for gas tax

Free Press articles today talk about Chrysler’s recovery, and this article cites the auto industry response to the “gas tax holiday” proposal -- “intellectual dishonesty” and “confusing signals” regarding energy policy --


Auto industry opposes holiday for gas tax



Automotive industry leaders have begun to speak out firmly against proposals Sens. John McCain and Hillary Clinton are promoting to suspend the 18.4-cents-a-gallon federal excise tax on gasoline.

The U.S. presidential hopefuls say the move would ease financial pain for Americans who are paying nearly $4 a gallon for regular gas as they cope with an economy ravaged by a housing slump, tight credit and rising food prices.

But Chrysler LLC Chief Executive Officer Bob Nardelli, AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson and others say that the nation needs the high gas prices to encourage consumers to buy more fuel-efficient vehicles -- which the federal government has mandated that automakers build -- and to make responsible decisions for the world at large.

"You have to have alignment," Jim Press, a Chrysler president and vice chairman, said during a meeting Thursday among Chrysler's leaders and Free Press writers and editors.

A day earlier, Jackson, the nation's largest auto dealer with 321 dealerships and a longtime critic of the nation's energy policy, told the Free Press that suspending the gas tax demonstrated "zero intellectual honesty" and gave Americans "confusing signals" about energy consumption.

"I've never heard of a plan that says, 'I want you to use less of something, but I'm going to reduce the price,' " Jackson said.




Anne M. Woiwode, State Director

Sierra Club Michigan Chapter - 109 E. Grand River Avenue, Lansing, MI 48906  - 517-484-2372    anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org

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