Manzullo backs fuel economy standards bill

CHICAGO—U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo (R-16) joined hundreds of Illinois auto workers and the “Big Three” auto manufacturers at a Chicago rally Aug. 16 to tout legislation that raises fuel economy standards while protecting the environment, preserving American jobs, and retaining consumer choice in vehicles.

The bipartisan Hill-Terry bill (HR 2927)—which Manzullo co-sponsored—increases fuel economy standards to between 32 and 35 miles per gallon by 2022, and continues to treat cars and trucks separately. It is supported by the United Auto Workers and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which includes Chrysler, Ford and GM. Union workers and company executives from Chrysler’s Belvidere plant and Ford’s Chicago plant joined Manzullo at the rally.

“This is a win-win bill that gives consumers better mileage and a continued variety of vehicle choices, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on foreign oil, but without putting thousands of American jobs at risk and pricing millions of consumers out of the new vehicle market,” Manzullo said.

The Hill-Terry bill, supported by more than 160 members of Congress, is a sensible alternative to legislation the Senate passed recently that could put thousands of American workers on the unemployment lines. The Senate-passed bill increases fuel economy standards to 35 mpg by 2020, but treats cars and trucks the same.

“The one-size-fits-all standard in the Senate-passed bill gives a significant competitive advantage to foreign auto-makers who build more cars and would have an easier time meeting the new standards than U.S. auto manufacturers, who build more vans, SUVs and trucks,” Manzullo said. “A recent Lehman Brothers study concluded Ford, Chrysler and GM would have to cut production of their pickups and SUVs by 60 percent to meet this standard. It would put thousands of American workers on the unemployment lines, and threaten consumers’ ability to buy the vehicles they need.”

Manzullo will continue to tout the benefits of the Hill-Terry bill—and point out the pitfalls of the Senate-passed bill—when Congress returns to session in September and the House considers fuel economy legislation.

from the Aug. 22-28, 2007, issue

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