Fuel Economy Performance Increases, Closing Loopholes Necessary to Have Real Impact

WASHINGTON, DC (May 18, 2006) -- Today the CEOs of the "Big Three" American automakers -- Daimler Chrysler, Ford and General Motors -- endorsed a goal that by 2025, America's farms, forests and ranches will provide 25 percent of the total energy consumed in the United States, including biofuels like ethanol.

Below is the statement of David Hawkins, Climate Center Director, Natural Resources Defense Council:

"Increasing the use of homegrown fuels would be a significant step toward moving America beyond oil and cutting global warming pollution.

"But the automakers' program is incomplete; what's missing is a commitment to produce more efficient cars, trucks and SUVs to cut global warming pollution, save oil and help families at the pump.

"American automakers should support measures now in Congress that would establish stronger fuel economy performance standards. And they should support changing the flex fuel provisions to assure that fuel economy credits are provided based on actual amounts of ethanol used. We need to get more miles to the acre as well as more miles to the gallon.

"Effective policies are needed to meet the twin challenges of global warming and oil addiction. We are encouraged by these companies' embrace of goals for using biofuels to meet a substantial share of our transportation fuel needs and call on them to support the actions needed to make those goals a reality."