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Auto execs seek looser fuel-economy rules

June 6, 2007 at 1:20 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, June 6 (UPI) -- Detroit's top auto executives Wednesday asked congressional leaders to consider a less-restrictive alternative plan to increase fuel-efficiency standards.

General Motors Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Rick Wagoner, Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group CEO Tom LaSorda met privately with House and Senate leaders, The Detroit News reported.

In a symbolic gesture, the CEOs arrived in Washington in fuel-efficient vehicles: Wagoner in a hybrid Saturn Aura, Mulally in a Ford Escape hybrid and LaSorda in a flex-fuel Town & Country minivan, the newspaper said.

The Senate is expected to vote next week on a bill to raise the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards for vehicles to a fleet average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020 -- up about 10 mpg from current levels.

Michigan's two Democratic senators, Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, have proposed an alternative that brings the standard to 36 mpg for cars by 2022 and 30 mpg for pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles and vans by 2025 -- an alternative Detroit supports.

The Union of Concerned Scientists advocacy group said the alternative "would produce only one third the oil savings of stronger legislation."

© 2007 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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