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NYT: Kerry Is Sticking with Plan to Raise Auto Fuel Efficiency [View All]

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-26-04 08:11 AM
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NYT: Kerry Is Sticking with Plan to Raise Auto Fuel Efficiency
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Kerry Is Sticking With Plan to Raise Auto Fuel Efficiency

Published: March 26, 2004

DETROIT, March 25 - In the face of rising gasoline prices and stagnating fuel efficiency, Senator John Kerry is sticking with a plan he backed in the Senate to increase the nation's fuel economy standards 50 percent by 2015. That would be the largest increase, by far, since automotive fuel economy standards were first imposed after the oil shocks of the 1970's.

Few think even Mr. Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, could actually make good on such a plan if he were elected president, because there is too much opposition from Congressional Republicans and Midwestern Democrats. When Senator Kerry and Senator John McCain pushed such a proposal two years ago, it failed in the Senate on a 62-to-38 vote.

But Mr. Kerry's emergence as the likely Democratic nominee has reinvigorated debate in Detroit and Washington about the nation's plummeting fuel economy.

Environmental groups say they believe that bolstering fuel regulations would be Topic A, or close to it, in a Kerry presidency. The Bush campaign says the Kerry plan would have a devastating effect on a region already hemorrhaging manufacturing jobs. Automakers say they do not have the technology to meet his numbers.

And a who's who of top Democrats in Michigan, considered a battleground state, have been pressing Mr. Kerry to scale back.
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