The Association of International Automobile Manufacturers (AIAM) fully supports the effort announced by President Obama today to harness the expertise of the auto industry, environmentalists, federal agencies, and state elected officials to harmonize more stringent greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) standards for motor vehicles by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with California’s GHG standards and the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) new CAFE standards into a single national program.
“We view today’s action by the White House as a necessary step towards establishing a comprehensive national approach for the auto industry to reduce climate-threatening greenhouse gas emissions while significantly improving fuel economy,” said Michael J. Stanton, President and CEO of AIAM. “Today’s actions begin the process of aligning EPA, DOT and California requirements, an action that AIAM has been urging for the past several years. We will work diligently with all interested parties to ensure the adoption of the best program possible.”
AIAM and its members have long recognized the importance of addressing climate change and have supported efforts by public officials to require meaningful reductions in GHG emissions from automobiles and light trucks. AIAM members have been industry leaders in the effort to improve fuel efficiency of the vehicles they sell while reducing environmental degradation. Six of the top ten models on EPA’s 2009 Fuel Economy Leaders list are manufactured by AIAM members, and the Association’s members were responsible for 89% of all hybrid vehicles sold in the U.S. market in 2008.
“This new agreement will go a long way toward preserving the widest possible range of consumer choice in new vehicle purchases, allow sufficient lead time for manufacturers to thoroughly engineer and test next-generation technologies before they are launched to the public, and provide a sufficient degree of flexibility to mitigate costs in very capital-intensive new vehicle development,” said Stanton. “We would especially like to thank the President for all he’s done to bring the parties together today for this breakthrough announcement. This is a critically important step in moving our industry forward while protecting the environment and reducing our nation’s reliance on fossil fuels.”