The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM) is an organization that consists of many of the major automakers selling cars in the US, focusing on safety and environmental issues as well as presenting a united front with all things automotive. Lately, the organization has had to grapple with market changes coming their way including government mandates requiring that automotive manufacturers produce a greater number of vehicles that get high gas mileage while spewing out fewer harmful emissions.
Quoting Dave McCurdy, President and CEO of the AAM, “An effective climate change policy must be built on an economy-wide approach that involves all stakeholders and emphasizes the wisdom of a national, not state by state, strategy to address climate change.”
The AAM and its member companies understand that they have a responsibility to increase fuel economy and limit greenhouse gas emissions from new automobiles and are committed to being part of the solution to climate change.
Concerning the EPA’s recent analysis of the problem, the AAM says that the subject is complex and requires close study before the organization can valuate how the proposal would impact the industry. The AAM believes that the EPA’s Clean Air Act, which underwent its last major amendment in 1990, leaves out some of the tools and standards necessary to address the global issue of climate change, including requirements on how to balance the economic effects and impacts on U.S. manufacturing jobs along with the environmental considerations. Specifically, the AAM recognizes that the leading climate change proposals in Congress propose using a different framework for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
What the automakers are doing right now is to produce CO2 efficient autos that use less fuel and emit less carbon dioxide. At the same time elevated gas prices are forcing consumers to do their part as they choose more fuel efficient autos. While the increase in fuel prices and the transition from light-duty trucks to small cars increases the importance for advanced fuel conservation technologies, it does not decrease development costs or reduce the time needed to generate them.
At present, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is in the process of establishing fuel economy standards that will result in a minimum 40% increase in fuel economy and a minimum 30% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2020, requirements which are more rigid than any other industry in the U.S.
The EPA says that autos account for 20% of all man made CO2 emissions in the U.S., but automotive manufacturers are currently offering more than 70 models of alternative fuel autos powered by hybrid electric, clean diesel ethanol and more. Moreover, more than 100 models are already available that achieve highway fuel economy ratings of more than 30 mpg.
(Source: Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers)